CultureWorks: The Spectre of Outsourcing... Again
Patrizia Gentile, Internal Affairs Officer
Last semester, Carleton Provost Peter Ricketts reported that the university would not sign a contract with Navitas, a private company specializing in establishing pre-university programs and the recruitment of international students. Responses to Navitas were generally negative with perhaps the most critical reactions deriving from the working group constituted by the Provost himself that investigated the issue of recruiting international students to Carleton. Highlights of the final recommendations from the International Recruitment Working Group, chaired by former Clerk of Senate Brian Mortimer, included a rejection of Navitas because of the adverse impact it would have on Carleton’s reputation as an institution and the recognition that Carleton already had sufficient in-house talent to manage the recruitment of international students. Navitas would have introduced another level of privatization and outsourcing at Carleton, seriously compromising our efforts to maintain our reputation and deliver quality education. The issue seemed to be put to rest, based on communications from the Provost’s Office and reports delivered by Dr. Ricketts in Senate and to Board of Governors.
Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth.
Recently, CUASA learned that Carleton’s administration is in talks with another private company called CultureWorks. Founded by former ESL teacher Tina Bax, CultureWorks offers English as a Second Language (ESL) courses to international students. It also offers another service: international recruiters. Notably, CultureWorks does not offer courses for credit. Currently, CultureWorks is affiliated with the University of Western Ontario and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Students who register with CultureWorks are offered conditional acceptance letters from the UWO or UOIT. Once students complete their courses at CultureWorks they will be streamed directly into the affiliated university thereby guaranteeing a steady flow of students and fees.
From 1983 until 2008 Carleton University housed a unit which provided non-credit ESL to international students (Centre for Intensive Language Education or CILE). The unit employed between15 to 18 CUASA members, predominantly women, who lost their jobs when the administration decided to close the unit. Many of these members had been employed at Carleton for decades.
Apart from the fact that employees at CultureWorks are not unionized, a relationship with CultureWorks would afford Carleton the opportunity to outsource the teaching of ESL, potentially compromising the resources already in existence on our university. Outsourcing teaching, research or even the recruitment of potential students runs counter to delivering quality education based on long-standing standards. Like Navitas, CultureWorks is a company focused on profits even if the details of their services are slightly different.
Unfortunately, CUASA does not have access to the negotiations between CultureWorks and Carleton University. This lack of access underlines an absence of transparency from the Provost’s Office regarding pertinent curriculum issues and potential changes to teaching resources. We hope that the cult of secrecy that surrounded Navitas is not repeated in this new incarnation.
CAUT's Campaign to Save the Library and Archives Canada
Janice Scammell, Editor, CUASA Communiqué
CUASA is concerned to bring to the attention of CUASA’s members CAUT’s campaign to Save Library and Archives Canada. CAUT’s discussion of the negative impact of changes to Library and Archives Canada’s mandate and past practices is clearly outlined on the CAUT website http://www.savelibraryarchives.ca/issues.aspx where five major issues are identified under the following headings: Modernization, Mandate, Acquisitions, Services, and Decentralization. From the CAUT website the campaign’s objectives are highlighted as follows:
- Amend the Library and Archives of Canada Act to more clearly specify LAC’s obligation to maintain a comprehensive collection of Canada’s documentary heritage
- Ensure funding required to fulfill this obligation
- Restore LAC’s full acquisition of published material and archival acquisitions
- Restore public services, including access to archivists and librarians; access to the general reference collection; and re-establishment of specialist archivist positions
- End fragmentation of collections resulting from decentralization
For more detailed information on the issues and on how you can support the campaign please refer to CAUT’s “Open Letter to Daniel Caron, Librarian and Archivist of Canada” dated June 27th, 2011 and available through a link on the CAUT website http://www.savelibraryarchives.ca/.