Franco-Ontarian Universities Refuse to Give Up

Since my daughter began school four years ago, I have been part of the Conseil Scolaire Viamonde – Ontario’s dynamic French-language public board.  Five years ago I was unaware of its existence, but a kind neighbour recommended it for our family, knowing we value linguistic diversity.  Since enrolling our children, we have had our eyes opened to vibrant Francophone community in Ontario that is comprised of recently-immigrated and long-time Canadians with many connections to Indigenous communities.  This community had a powerful vision to develop a Franco-Ontarian university.  Not only would the constituents be diverse, the pedagogy would be cutting edge.  After walking alongside my colleague Olivier Begin-Caouette and hearing his excitement for project, I was deeply grieved that the Ford government has cut the funding.  Fortunately, the planning committee are a savvy group and are willing to hold the charter tightly until funding becomes available again with the next provincial government.  You can read the editorial I wrote with Olivier here:

https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20181216083045348

Ethnicity and Branch-campuses

Shakina and I are thrilled to announce our new publication is now available online –  “This barrier between:” the ethnic divisions of higher education in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.  Published in Higher Education by Springer.  Please email us for free read-only copies.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10734-018-0307-5

Many thanks to Shakina and Dr. Ruth Hayhoe for all their advice and support in this project.

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  –

http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20180611234258200

 

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.  http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20180313085859767

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.  https://worldviewsconference.com/about-worldviews/

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 http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20180124083515112&query=karram

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. http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20170417182241756

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..