Weekly Update – February 19

February 19, 2021

Weekly Update – February 19 

Updated COVID-19 Reporting System

Now that Ottawa has moved into the orange (restrict) category for public health measures, the University has updated its COVID-19 reporting system. Click here for more information.


New Student Experience Questionnaire

Last week, we wrote about the new Student Experience Questionnaire that will be implemented this term. We wanted to take the opportunity to remind members that it is at your discretion whether or not to administer questionnaires this term, per the Letter of Understanding CUASA signed with the University. Should you decide to administer evaluations, they will not be used for career decisions.


Access to Brightspace

This week the University announced that campus-wide access to Brightspace is now available. Brightspace development courses (or “sandboxes”) have automatically been created for all course instructors. Many summer course shells have also been added so that you can begin adding course materials if applicable.

CUASA is asking our members to share any feedback you may have on Brightspace with us. Please let us know how well it is working, if you encounter any issues, etc. so we can keep track of how our members are experiencing Brightspace. You can share feedback by emailing cuasa@cuasa.ca.


Join the Waitlist: Anti-racism and Oppression Training

CUASA’s Chair of Equity, Dawn Moore, has contracted a facilitator to provide anti-racism and oppression training for CUASA’s Executive and Council. We are also building a waitlist for Association members who may be interested in this training, should some extra spots be available.

Workshop Name: Building resilience, anti-racism & oppression training for CUASA Council
Duration: The workshop will be split over 2 days so attendance to both sessions is critical.

If you are interested, please email cuasa@cuasa.ca and indicate if you are available to attend the full training block:

  • Thursday, March 11, 1:00 – 3:00pm
  • Thursday, March 18, 1:00 – 3:00pm

We will add names to the waitlist and contact those persons if spots become available. Note: If you are not able to attend this block, there will be more opportunities for this training in the future.


Call for Expressions of Interest: CUASA Caucuses

CUASA is seeking expressions of interest from the membership in forming a women’s caucus, an LGTBQIA2S+ caucus, and a disability caucus. We also welcome other suggestions for caucuses. If you are interested and/or have a caucus suggestion, please email our Chair of Equity, Dawn Moore, at equity@cuasa.ca.


Nominations for Steering Positions

We are still accepting nominations for the following Steering positions (click on the title to read the position description):

Information on the nominations process can be found on our How to Volunteer page. The work of the Association continues, despite the current environment we find ourselves in. Remember that our Association is only as strong as its membership, so we count on the time and commitment of our members to achieve our goals. Some of these positions come with a course release subject to the availability of funds (please ask if interested).


Retired Representatives on Council

CUASA council has two positions for retired persons representatives. The terms of both positions expire on March 31, 2021 and accordingly the Carleton University Retirees Association (CURA) has been mandated by CUASA to fill these positions. It should be noted that these positions are ‘voice but no vote’. That is, one can speak to any issue but not put motions or vote for motions. This is open only to CUASA members who have retired.

It is expected that the representatives attend the usually two-hour long, monthly council meetings, this year on Zoom.

If you wish to stand for election for the CUASA rep position please send your name and former CUASA unit to the CURA president: SusanNesrallah@Cunet.Carleton.Ca

Depending on the response, elections will be held. Since this is the first time this approach is being used, please inform the President of CURA before March 1, 2021 so that the next step can be organized.


Carleton Updates

Faculty Senators Call for Nominations

The University Senate has issued a call for nominations seeking seven faculty members from across the university to serve for a 3-year term starting July 1, 2021. Click here for eligibility requirements and to learn more about the application process. Applications are due by March 5, 2021. Those interested can apply here.


Mental Health Resources

Healthy Workplace has compiled a variety of mental health and well-being resources for faculty and staff, which you can find here. The page has information on various workplace mental health initiatives, including the Mental Health Speaker Series and upcoming mental health workshops and training opportunities.


Academic Community Updates

Act now: Demand the government provide the necessary funding to secure the future of Laurentian University

In a surprising move, Laurentian University has filed for court protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) due to financial challenges it is facing as a result of reckless administrative decisions and the erosion of public university funding.

Laurentian University is a public institution, not a private sector corporation. As such, it is the responsibility of government to ensure sustainable operating funding. This funding would put an immediate end to Laurentian’s financial challenges and prevent inappropriate and costly legal proceedings.

Together, we need to put pressure on both the provincial and federal governments to provide Laurentian with the funding it needs, not just to survive for a few more months, but to secure the public institution’s long-term future.

Make your voice heard: Click here to send a letter demanding the provincial and federal governments intervene to protect this vital public institution.

Click here to read OCUFA’s statement on the situation at Laurentian, and click here to read CAUT’s statement.


Call for submissions: 2020-2021 Annual OCUFA Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards

Each year, OCUFA is proud to celebrate outstanding achievement in teaching and academic librarianship at Ontario universities. Through the Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards, we recognize those individuals whose pedagogical leadership and support have made a positive and enduring difference to their students and colleagues. The deadline for nominations is May 28, 2021. For more information and award guidelines, click here.


Report highlights struggling education sector, makes urgent call for national strategy

Federal and provincial governments need to step up to fix serious issues in post-secondary education (PSE), says a new coalition representing over one million students and workers. Click here to read more.


Labour Community Updates

Ontario Federation of Labour outraged by Ford Government’s refusal to legislate paid sick days for every Ontario worker

This week, Doug Ford’s Conservative Government refused to support the NDP’s call for all-party consent to pass Bill 239, Peggy Sattler’s Stay Home If You Are Sick Act. Bill 239 would provide 7 permanent paid sick days, plus 14 additional days during a pandemic like the COVID-19 crisis. The Ontario Federation of Labour is outraged by the Ford Government’s refusal to immediately pass this critical legislation. Click here to read more.

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