What is he smoking?!
I am a big fan of University Affairs. I read it as soon as
I get it and encourage others to read it too, often sharing
articles online. However, you missed the mark on the
08/14 cover. What the ... While I realize it relates to the
main story, three people who have seen the issue on my
desk have all thought that a faculty member somewhere
is smoking something. These things happen, but I know
that you can do better, and have consistently done so
in the past. (Maybe you did it in in the summer issue to
see if anyone’s reading it!) Keep up the good work.
Mr. Bailey is an administrator (faculty affairs) in the office of the dean of science at McMaster University.
Editor’s note: Mr. Bailey was not the only reader who thought that André-François Bourbeau was
smoking something on the cover of our August-September issue. In fact, the professor of wilderness
survival was making fire without a match, as the cover caption noted in the table of contents.
Magnifying a makeover for the arts
the reflecting pool at the University of British Columbia’s faculty of arts is a wonderful
space, and the description of it is inspiring (“The
ripple effect,” August-September issue). The metaphor of the effect that the students, staff and
visitors will have on society, based on the ripples,
is amazing. I especially appreciate that there are
so many languages included on the pool’s foundation so that the impact and intention is local
and far reaching.
Mr. Sampson is the landscape architect at Arizona State University
and associate director in the office of the university architect at ASU.
From our blogs
regarding the margin notes blog post “Sessional
instructors: what we know so far” (online at uni-
versityaffairs.ca, July 16): I certainly applaud
HEQCO’s [the Higher Education Quality Coun-
cil of Ontario] spotlight on this issue, but there
are a few contextual details that might add a bit
more colour to the realities facing many of our
precarious academic workers.
One quibble is in drawing any comparison to
adjunct compensation or faculty complement
with the United States, as it may rely on equiva-
lencies that do not stand up to the different eco-
nomic indicators of purchasing power and the
structural differences between the U.S. and Cana-
dian university systems. Moreover, any haste in
the “takeaway” of Canadian sessionals being bet-
ter compensated than their U.S. colleagues risks
the equally hasty conclusion of being complicit
with many of the egregious issues facing many
of our sessionals since “it could be worse”– instead
of shifting the discourse to the more productive
“it could be much better.”
Kane X. Faucher
Dr. Faucher teaches at Western University and Wilfrid Laurier
i agree that comparisons with the U.S. are problematic – and could lead to the false conclusion
that things are “better” in Canada, so we really
don’t need to concern ourselves with this issue.
The use and treatment of sessional instructors
is indeed very problematic and we need detailed,
national data. Hopefully this is a start for Ontario
that will lead to the collection of national data.
Dr. Hoenle teaches German and German cultural studies at the
University of Calgary.
Convocation speeches that inspired
us, from coast to coast08 14
Des discours inspirants prononcés lors
de cérémonies de remise de diplômes
$4.50 / 4, 50
Man against nature
André-François Bourbeau likes negotiating risks
to teach wilderness survival
L’homme contre la nature
André-François Bourbeau jongle avec le risque
pour enseigner la survie en forêt