Hello TUFA members! I’m delighted to step officially into my role as TUFA president, and look forward to meeting those of you who I have not yet met – hopefully in person and sooner rather than later.
As many of you know, I have several years of experience working in administration, both as the chair of the Philosophy Department and the dean of Humanities. To this new role, I bring experience with university operations and a strong knowledge of the TUFA Collective Agreement and associated TUFA concerns. I also bring experience from “both sides of the river,” as is sometimes said at Trent. My background is in biology and philosophy, and I address both the arts and sciences in my teaching, research, and service. So I hope that you will feel comfortable bringing your general and discipline-specific concerns and aspirations my way. And it is important to me that you do share your concerns and aspirations with me. It is my intention to engage more directly with the administration about the experiences of faculty, particularly given the last year of upheaval and adaptation. I’m sure that we’ve all learned a lot, and this rich knowledge should inform how the academy recovers.
This last pandemic year also underscores the great importance of careful planning and clear, generous communication as we look ahead to bargaining in 2022. Issues currently being discussed by the TUFA executive committee include tenure-track faculty renewal, academic planning, progress on EDI, enhancing academic freedom, and the transition to our joint-sponsored pension plan. Our membership meeting this fall is an important one, so please mark it on your calendars once the date is confirmed. We had excellent attendance at our most recent meetings – let’s increase attendance even further for the next one.
I have really enjoyed working this past month to familiarize myself with TUFA’s operations. Marcus, Nancy, and the other TUFA executive members have been extremely helpful and informative. In coming weeks, I am attending the OCUFA conference on May 28 and the CAUT new president’s meeting on June 4, and will report back to you on the local and national issues in focus for the coming year. Until then, I hope that your summer teaching, research, and service gets off to a smooth start – so far as that is possible right now – and that you stay well and safe.