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July 2012
Volume 42 Number 1
Editor: Janice Scammell

CUASA Communiqué

CUASA Steering Committee

Jason Etele, Mech. and Aerospace Eng.

Angelo Mingarelli, Math and Stats

Samuel Ajila, Systems and Comp. Eng.

David Jackson, Business

Chair, Collective Bargaining
Sonya Lipsett-Rivera, History

Chair, External Relations
Pum Van Veldhoven, Sociology

Chair, Grievance Policy and Admin.
Gerald de Montigny, Social Work

Salary and Benefits Officer
Richard Dansereau, Sys. and Comp. Eng.

Chair, Internal Affairs
Patrizia Gentile, Interdisciplinary Studies

Editor, CUASA Communique
Janice Scammell, Library

Retired Members Representative
Donald Swartz, Public Policy

Chair, Equity
Jennifer Evans, History

Chair, Nominations and Elections
Brett Stevens, Math and Stats

Instructor Member Representative
Chantal Dion, French

Professional Librarian Representative
Frances Montgomery, Library

Adam Barrows, English
Graham Smart, Linguistics/Applied Lang.

CUASA Office Staff

Executive Director
Kimberly Benoit

Member Services Officer
Daniel Draper

Office Manager
Deborah Jackson

The recent negative national press concerning Carleton University and the controversy with the Riddell donor agreement has highlighted the dangers inherent in the shifting of the public university into a corporate institution run by a growing administrative bureaucracy.   For over a year our administration refused to release the agreement, and when pushed by the Canadian press, offered a heavily redacted version.  When compared to the entire agreement a picture is revealed of just how far out of touch our administration has gotten from the core values of what a publicly accessible University that offers quality education and scholarship should be. 

Among the sections redacted for 'Economic Interests' were the guidelines for the composition of the program's steering committee whose purposes included: “To advise the [program] on strategic issues, such as curriculum development...” and “To approve the annual budget, the selection of adjunct faculty and staff, … and to participate in the faculty hiring decisions.”  Although difficult to see the economic interest in these details, clearly their impact on academic freedom is chilling given that this steering committee is currently composed of less than 50% Carleton faculty.  The time and effort spent by our administration to conceal these details not only from the Canadian Press, but from the Carleton faculty, represents a dramatic change in the core value of Carleton as a University where ideas are exchanged in a climate of collegiality and where academic freedom is protected.

Even more worrisome is the fact that these provisions, which act against the best interests of a free and open university environment apparently did not even originate with the donor.  According to the Ottawa Citizen Clayton Riddell has said "I met with them, we talked about what it is we wanted to do, and they drew up the agreement… I'm sure they drew up the agreement. I know that I didn't, so I presume that they did."  An administration truly concerned with balancing the need for funding with the protection of academic freedom would consult with the faculty community and the Senate in order to draft an agreement that defends the core principles of what a University should be.  In this case, they even chose to completely redact the section detailing with whom President Runte was consulting (it is probably no surprise that there were no Carleton faculty members among this select group).

Unfortunately this type of issue is not an isolated incident.  The growth and empowerment of the university bureaucracy leads to decisions being taken on Carleton's behalf, OUR BEHALF, with little to no consultation with those that are involved in the day to day, year to year, improvement of our programs and training of our students.  Case in point, the Provost recently assured the Senate that with regards to a deal with Culture  Works “...Senate will be informed as and when discussion take place” while the President commented that to facilitate a fuller discussion “Any decision will be made in consultation with Senate” (Minutes of the March 30, 2012 Meeting, Carleton University Senate).  And yet the Provost has said a deal has already been signed.  Given the negative fallout from the recent Riddell agreement, what will be left of Carleton's reputation after calls for the details of the administration's agreement with Culture Works are made?

For the Riddell donor agreement visit the following links:

Riddell Agreement - Non-Redacted

Riddell Agreement - Redacted

For recent articles written on this issue visit the following links:

Universities Promise Funding Guide Amid Carleton Donor Backlash - July 14, 2012 - Globe and Mail

Carleton Donor Agreements Need to be Made Public: Faculty Association - July 13, 2012 - Huffington Post (Canadian Press)

Carleton Controversy a Reminder That Even Cash Strapped Universities Can't Cede Control - July 13, 2012 - Globe and Mail

Carleton Donor Unaware of Concerns Over Contract - July 13, 2012 - Ottawa Citizen


Carleton University Academic Staff Association
2004 Dunton Tower, 1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6

Phone: 613-520-5607
Fax: 613-520-4426

July 2012
Volume 40, Issue 1

Editor: Janice Scammell

Council Members
Steering Committee Members
Staff Members

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