The January 2019 issue of News You Can Use is available here.
Earlier this week, the DFA submitted this message to Dalhousie’s Provost and Vice-President Academic Dr. Teri Balser. We have made similar submissions in the past but this represents our first opportunity to engage with Dr. Balser on the topic of the university budget. The Board's budget rhetoric often highlights the increasing costs of employing people to do the work of the institution. Academic staff compensation is often explicitly or implicitly identified as a "problem" that justifies, at least in part, perennial increases in student tuition. This is misleading, and only serves to divert attention away from the real problem. Our analysis shows that the dominant trend has been an increase in compensation costs for non-academic staff and the diversion of operating funds to back capital projects such as new buildings. In other words, increases in student tuition have been used to fuel the bloat of central administration and to erect new buildings, while the academic staff at the front-line of the university's academic mission are forced to do more with less every year. Since 2010, annual BAC cuts have led to a cumulative cut to Faculty budgets of more than 20% while enrolments have grown. Now that the building boom is nearing completion, it is time to reinvest in teaching and research - we need to reverse the trend of cuts to academic unit budgets.
Please take a moment to read our submission – it is important for all of us to understand the university’s budgeting process and financial practices as they impact our ability to deliver on the academic mission of the university.
This letter to the chair of the Board of Governors reflects the DFA's ongoing concern with the lack of open collegial process in appointing senior administrators - a concern echoed by colleagues across the country. Our collective voice and scholarly expertise should be respected in such important decisions. The principle of collegial governance is enshrined in our Collective Agreement and we will not stand by and watch it erode.
Dave Westwood, DFA President
Click here for the letter sent by the DFA on January 28, 2019.
On Tuesday, November 27, Jason Brown, Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, presented Math & Music: Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!. Jason and a live band performed some favourite hits, brought to you by the DFA and the Halifax Public Library. A video of the event can be found here.
DFA's Public Speaker Series is an opportunity for our members to share with the community their research and areas of expertise. Presentations are bi-monthly, alternating between Truro and Halifax. Our next session is Wednesday January 30 in Truro. Dr. Deborah Stiles will present on Frankenstein, Frankenfood and the Forgotten Farmer at the Truro Public Library.
Tuition fee hikes and cuts to faculty budgets are not a financial necessity. They are a choice by the administration to direct money towards capital expenses and increasing non-academic costs. Click here for the updated review of Dalhousie's finances from 2002-2017. (verifed by a forensic accountant).
Submit Your Health Claims via Mobile App
As a Medavie Blue Cross subscriber, you are now able to submit health claims via a mobile app. Details available at https://www.medaviebc.ca/en/members/medavie-mobile.