Fordism and Ontario’s Higher Education

Image kindly borrowed from TorontoLife

There is nothing more risky than predicting the future.  And certainly this is true after a controversial election.  We do not yet know what Ontario’s election means for higher education, but we can take a look at past conservative governments and gain a sense of what is to come.  Read my piece in University World News here  –


Some great speeches on Free Speech

Last week we worked with the great people at OCUFA to once again host the Worldviews Lecture. This annual talk is held at OISE and brings in a top speaker to comment on a pressing issues that links higher education and the media.

This year we were fortunate to have Dr Sigal Ben-Porath as our guest speaker with a great panel discussion afterwards.  Here is my synopsis of the talk and the commentary surrounding it.

In 2019, you will want to attend the Worldviews Conference. It is held every 3 years and is handsdown the most interesting conference I’ve ever attended.

Precarious workers in Ontario’s colleges

I have had a string of excellent research assistants, but my current teammate is beyond excellent.  Emmanuelle Fick is not just a PhD student, she is an English instructor in George Brown’s construction faculty ensuring that our next generation of city builders can find jobs, develop reports and succeed in the knowledge economy.  Emmanuelle was also active in the recent strike and helped me to understand the issues that drove it.  Read our piece here

The Wrong Side of History

My top conference pick has always been the Worldviews Conference jointly offered by OCUFA, University World News and OISE.  The conference looks at the relationship between media and higher education bringing together journalists who are awesome story tellers and academics who tell us what the stories mean.  Since conference only happens every three years, we keep the fires burning with an annual lecture.  Peter Scott joined us this year and you can read my summary of his talk here.

Should we boycott US conferences?

Checking my emails on Monday morning was as crazy ride.  First message – a petition to boycott US conferences.  10 following messages – debates about whether this is the right choice.  I immediately thought of my mentor Ruth Hayhoe and her stories of China in 1989.  They faced the same question – Should we boycott an oppressive regime?  I sat down with Ruth this week to learn more.

READ her story in University Affairs here..

Can Academic Freedom make space for Minority Groups?

Mildred’s award winning pancakes.

I recently had brunch at a cafe – Mildred’s Temple Kitchen – which, despite the odd name, was great.  Truly award winning pancakes.  And how is this relevant to higher education?   The washrooms.

I guess that connection needs to be explained a little more.  There was only one washroom, with four or five stalls that all had well sealed doors.  The sinks were communal.  Universities and a whole bunch of other public institutions seem incredibly high strung over issues like gender neutral washrooms, gender neutral pronouns.  And while some think this is all new and gravely concerning, Canadian universities have been debating accommodations for minority groups for decades. This is not new.

Want some clarity on the issue?  READ my piece in University World News…

**disclaimer** Mildred’s washrooms have had more than a little off-beat media coverage.  And I am by no means endorsing everything that takes place there.

Blogs for University World News

From June 2015- June 2016 I have been on maternity leave, although I still had some time to write for University World News UWN) and complete my thesis.  Here are links to several of my UWN blogs.

Oct. 14. 2016. Supporting victims of sexual assault at university. 
Aug. 19. 2016 Can private education contribute to nation building?
June. 10. 2016  Will students be forced to pay the utility bills in Ghana?
April 15. 2016  The vital role of credit transfer in Canada.