As a follow up to our May 7 bulletin, we want to update you on our efforts at getting more information about the Central Administration’s plans regarding both the intended partial return to campus in Fall 2021, and bimodal teaching for the 2021-2022 academic year.
The Central Administration has refused to meet with the inter-union coalition
On May 14, the inter-union coalition received a response to its April 7 and May 7 letters. In its response, the Central Administration failed to recognise our three demands and did not address our concerns. The APUO is deeply troubled by the Central Administration’s refusal to work with the inter-union coalition to ensure a safe and pedagogically sound partial return to campus for the Fall term.
Academic staff, students, teaching and research assistants, and support personnel have gone above and beyond amid the pandemic to ensure the University of Ottawa continues to fulfill its educational and research mandates. In addition to running counter to principles of collegial governance, the Central Administration’s refusal to respond to the concerns and demands set out by the inter-union coalition demonstrates a lack of respect for our university community and marks a missed opportunity for ensuring the best possible return to campus amid the ongoing pandemic-related uncertainties. In the spirit of collegial governance, and to ensure a successful return to campus, the inter-union coalition has reiterated its call for the Central Administration to meet with coalition members as a group and to address our concerns.
Bimodal teaching during the Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 terms
The Central Administration initially informed the APUO that there would be approximately 290 courses offered in the bimodal format during the Fall 2021 term. In late May, we were advised that, in fact, 444 courses will be offered bimodally, of which 82 will be taught by APUO members. During the Fall 2021 term, the number of courses to be taught using a bimodal format is as follows:
233 : Faculty of Social Sciences
92 : Faculty of Arts
72 : Faculty of Law, Civil Law section
40 : Faculty of Law, Common Law section
6 : Faculty of Sciences
1 : Faculty of Engineering
0 : Faculties of Education, Telfer, Medicine, and Health Sciences
It merits noting that the two faculties most experienced with bimodal teaching – Education and Health sciences – will not be offering courses in this format during the Fall 2021 term.
We have also learned that 535 courses are planned to be offered bimodally during the Winter 2022 term, of which 123 are scheduled to be be taught by APUO members. The breakdown of courses to be taught using a bimodal format during the Winter 2022 term is as follows:
242 : Faculty of Social Sciences
133 : Faculty of Arts
103 : Faculty of Law, Civil Law section
51 : Faculty of Law, Common Law section
4 : Other (no further information provided by employer)
2 : Faculty of Sciences
0 : Faculties of Education, Telfer, Medicine, Engineering, and Health Sciences
It also must be noted that, instead of planning a full return to campus for the Winter 2022 semester, the Central Administration has elected to increase the number of bimodal courses to be offered. This development is cause for concern and suggests the Central Administration’s introduction of the bimodal format at this time is part of a longer-term strategy that aims to make bimodal course offerings a more permanent fixture in the university’s course calendar.
The APUO has learned that some members who had informed their Dean that they would accept to teach in person in 2021-2022 have received teaching workloads that include one or more courses in a bimodal format. Should you find yourself in such a situation and have not consented to teach in the bimodal format, please be advised that you are under no obligation to accept your workload for 2021-2022. If you have any concerns about your 2021-2022 workload, please do not hesitate to contact the APUO.