TORONTO, Oct. 15 /CNW/ - A report released today by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) reinforced students' calls for more tenured faculty to be hired at Ontario universities and colleges. OCUFA estimates that Ontario universities must hire more than 5,000 new faculty members just to meet Canada's national average.
"Professor hiring freezes across Ontario continue to undermine the quality of a university education," said Shelley Melanson, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "At the same time that students are paying record tuition fees in Ontario, they are also studying in the largest classes - they are paying more for less."
The numbers compiled by OCUFA were extracted from universities' Multi-Year Accountability Framework (MYAA) interim report-backs. The MYAA report-backs indicate that despite having established targets for faculty hires in the accountability frameworks, targets were not met. Rather, sessional instructors were used to fill teaching spots that should have been filled by full-time faculty.
"After graduation, many doctoral students find themselves trying to cobble together a paycheque out of several teaching positions at different campuses. They work out of their cars instead of offices and they certainly don't have time to conduct their own research," said Kimalee Phillip, Ontario Graduate Caucus Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "Hiring full-time professors helps our universities become places of innovation and provides academic support for students from those who are experts in their field."
Since the Government of Ontario released Reaching Higher, a four-year funding envelope for colleges and universities, there has been a great deal of labour action, almost all relating to the use of sessional faculty as a way for colleges and universities to save costs for tenured faculty.
"Tenured faculty provide the teaching and research expertise that helps ensure a high-quality education. If Dalton McGuinty wants to be the education premier, he must follow up on OCUFA's recommendations," said Phillip.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unites more than 300,000 college and university students studying at public post-secondary institutions across the province, including more than 50,000 graduate students through the Ontario Graduate Caucus.
SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students
For further information: For further information: Shelley Melanson, CFS-Ontario Chairperson, (416) 925-3825 or (416) 882-9927 (cell); Kimalee Phillip, Chairperson, Ontario Graduate Caucus, (613) 261-3231 (cell)