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December Bulletin

Table of Contents

  • Progress report from the Special Advisor on Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence
  • Winter 2022 Course Syllabi
  • University of Ottawa Library Open Educational Resources (OER) Grant – Winter 2022 
  • Solidarity with Afghan academics and activists

Dear Members,

As you may recall, in December 2020, Professor Boulou Ebanda de B’béri was appointed as the first Special Advisor on Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence at the University of Ottawa. Since beginning his 1-year term in early 2021, he has co-chaired the University’s Action Committee on Anti-Racism.

In October 2021 Professor Boulou Ebanda de B’béri released his progress report about the advancement of anti-racism efforts on campus. The report also provides insight into the priorities the Special Advisor and the Action Committee on Anti-Racism will advance in the pursuit of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The APUO encourages the Central Administration to ensure that both the Special Advisor on Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence and the Action Committee on Anti-Racism receive the support and resources needed to fulfill the objectives set out in this document.

Winter 2022 Course Syllabi

With the Winter 2022 term rapidly approaching, it has been brought to the APUO’s attention that some faculties and units are once again requesting that specific statements and timelines be included in course syllabi. Some faculties and units are also sending members course syllabi templates, claiming their use is mandatory. As the APUO has repeatedly stated in previous communications, and in accord with Article 9 and Article 21 of the Collective Agreement, imposing statements and templates for course syllabi constitutes an infringement on your academic freedom. 

APUO members are in no way obliged to use faculty or unit course syllabi templates or to include statements and/or any other information provided by their faculty or unit in these documents. Nor are they required to submit their course syllabi to their faculty or unit for approval or to adhere to submission deadlines for these documents. Article  21.1.2 (b) of the Collective Agreement is very clear about this matter. It specifies that members have the right and responsibility to: 

“organize course content and classroom laboratory activities and employ methodology and didactic material, including textbooks for the courses assigned to her, in a manner appropriate to the course and consistent with relevant academic standards and course descriptions approved by the Senate, it being understood that in the case of a multi-section courses the Chair and the departmental assembly may jointly choose common didactic materials, including textbooks, where it can be shown that this choice is justified by valid academic reasons and does not impose ideological conformity on the members concerned.”

Furthermore, as per the applicable sections of Article 21.1.3, members shall: 

“(b) determine a reasonable number or regularly scheduled office hours when she will be available to students for consultation, post these at her office door, and communicate them to the students and to her chair;

(c) inform her students, at the beginning of a course, regarding course requirements, instructional and evaluation methods, and the nature and timing of assignments, projects and examinations;

(d) not schedule final examinations outside the period designated for that purpose by the appropriate authority;”.

Put simply, members have the right both to choose whether to include information produced by their respective faculty or unit in their course syllabi, and/or whether to disseminate such information by other means. Should members have any questions, we encourage them to contact the APUO.

University of Ottawa Library Open Educational Resources (OER) Grant – Winter 2022 

The Library is pleased to offer a grant of up to a maximum of $5,000 to encourage the adaptation or creation of open educational resources for courses at the University of Ottawa. Projects must meet the following criteria: 

  • be led or supervised by a member of the APUO, APTPUO or staff with instruction-related activities; and 
  • be completed before May 1st, 2023. 

The following types of projects are especially encouraged:  

  1. French-language OER;  
  2. OER to be used in a high-enrollment course; and/or 
  3. OER that can be used in multiple courses. 

Follow this link for further details and to submit a proposal (until February 18, 2022, at noon) 

Sign up for an information session 

Solidarity with Afghan Academics

In our November Solidarity Bulletin, we announced that the APUO had donated $5,000 to the University of Ottawa’s Scholars at Risk program to assist in its fundraising efforts to host Afghan academics whose livelihoods and freedoms are threatened by the Taliban regime. We also encouraged members to consider making a donation at the following link.

Members will be interested to learn that the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) recently announced it is working with Education International, the Canadian Labour Congress, the International Trade Union Confederation and Scholars at Risk to support Afghan academics, trade unionists and human rights advocates who are facing immediate danger. CAUT is calling for donations to its Refugee Foundation to raise funds to help support its “refugee relief and resettlement efforts for at-risk Afghan academic and human rights refugees.”

The APUO continues to call upon the Central Administration to donate to the University of Ottawa’s program for academics at risk, and encourages members to please consider donating what they can.