OCUFA Battles Government Misconceptions About Professoriate

This blog entry was actually posted on December 10, 2015.

This article is from WLUFA Advocate 1.3 February 2013.

Judy Bates, President of WLUFA

As I know you are aware, the provincial government has indicated its desire to introduce
far‐reaching reforms in the university sector as part of its austerity program. Among the
proposals is one that suggests a change to the current funding formula for universities –
from one based on student numbers to one based on some form of measurable outcomes.
In addition, the government would like to see a much stronger emphasis placed by post secondary institutions on online learning – likely with a false belief that this is a cheaper option than in‐class learning – as well as the differentiation of universities into a tiered system, with elite universities focusing on research and the rest becoming primarily teaching institutions.

Though the government seems oblivious to this, the rest of us are well aware that the role of the university professor is to create and disseminate knowledge. It is not to do one or the other.

In order to do battle with at least one of our provincial government’s misconceptions about university education, OCUFA has taken up the challenge of identifying the important ways in which research and teaching are highly interconnected
to produce the best learning opportunities for Ontario’s students and
the best outcomes for our communities.

We Teach Ontario uses videos of professors who discuss the many ways that they connect their teaching with their research. Among those featured are Lisa Philipps, Professor of Law, York University; Barry Smit, Professor of Geography, University of Guelph; Vinita Srivastava, Associate Professor of Journalism, Ryerson University; Ross Upshur, Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto; and Mary Wells, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo. Take a few minutes to browse
through some of these videos in support of OCUFA’s stand and, perhaps, to let your students know when and how your research makes its way into your classrooms and their lecture material.


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