APRIL/MAY 2000, VOLUME 26.6
Pat Chow-Fraser, EDITOR
in this issue:
|2000/2001 Executive||Announcements||Ballot Results|
|President's Report||E-mails to the Editor||Salary Statistics|
Here are the members of the Executive Committee of the McMaster University Faculty Association for 2000/2001. Their terms of office began on April 25, 2000.
Bernadette Lynn, Accounting, MGD 318, Ext. 23993, email@example.com
Tom Davison, Mathematics & Statistics, BSB 111, Ext. 23413, firstname.lastname@example.org
John Platt, Psychology, PC 410, Ext. 23011, email@example.com
MEMBERS AT LARGE
Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, HSC 3H30, Ext. 23244, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mechanical Engineering, JHE 209, Ext 27591, email@example.com
Nursing, HSC 3N24F, Ext. 22258, firstname.lastname@example.org
History, CNH 604, Ext. 24153, email@example.com
Susan J. Elliott
Geography & Geology, BSB 325, Ext. 23139, firstname.lastname@example.org
History, CNH 624, Ext. 24142, email@example.com
Mathematics & Statistics, BSB 109, Ext. 27362, firstname.lastname@example.org
Political Science, KTH 534, Ext. 23891, email@example.com
Accounting, MGD 316, Ext. 23990, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mills Library, L B102, Ext. 27369, email@example.com
(delivered at the April 18, 2000 Annual General Meeting)
Colleagues, we have successfully completed another academic year and I am about to pass the reins of the Association into the able hands of Bernadette Lynn. In this, my last report to you as President, I would like to briefly update you on a few matters concluded since my last report or still pending, and then to make some observations about the relationship between MUFA and its members..
I am sure that most of you are anxious to hear what progress has been made by the President's Committee on Retirement Provisions for Salaried Employees in respect to arriving at a scheme to share the very large surplus that has accumulated in the McMaster Pension Plan. As you probably remember, an agreement was at hand near the end of last term, only to find from expert consultants that its structure made it unlikely to obtain the necessary approvals. Since then the Committee and the various consultants have been working on a much simpler cash arrangement. Modelling of the parameters of such an arrangement in terms of distributions of payments across various Member groups has been completed. In the meantime, interactions on this matter seem to have moved from direct negotiation in the Committee to exchanges between lawyers representing the University on one hand and Plan members on the other. I wish I could tell you when this matter will be completed so that an agreement can be placed before you for ratification, but this new mode of interaction makes it very difficult to assess what progress, if any, is being made. It would appear that the next step is for the University to make a concrete proposal for consideration by the representatives of the various groups of Plan members.
Another matter of considerable concern to many MUFA members is the state of planning for enrollment increases resulting from the double cohort and various demographic factors. Since I last reported, you have undoubtedly seen in the press or elsewhere that results of the provincial SuperBuild competition have been announced. McMaster received $22 million to renovate space for new classrooms, laboratories and examination facilities in several areas of the University. This result provided most of what McMaster requested, except for a second life sciences building. Together with the recent announcement of plans for an additional student residence, these developments go a long way toward providing the physical facilities for dealing with increased enrollment. Other issues, such as parking, remain to be resolved.
A second consideration in planning for enrollment increases, one of particular concern to MUFA members, is the need for additional faculty and staff to deal with additional students. In this regard, the recent announcement of the 21st Century Chairs by the federal government is most welcome. McMaster's administration informally estimates that McMaster should obtain approximately forty of these chairs [updated to 96]. Some of these will be directed toward junior faculty positions and some to more senior ones. Most of the recruiting for these chairs will presumably be directed to Canadian and other scholars abroad, since extensive use of these chairs by Canadian universities to cannibalize each other's faculties would accomplish very little. While celebrating the creation of these chairs, it is important to recognize that their numbers are not sufficient to completely service projected increases in enrollment. Some additional assistance will come from chairs to be funded by the Changing Tomorrow Today Campaign, but more traditional replacement and recruitment of new faculty will be required. I believe we are beginning to see the latter happening, at least in some areas. Of course, none of this addresses issues of support staff.
A third consideration in planning for enrollment increases is the need for increased operating funds to hire additional staff and faculty, to operate additional classrooms and laboratories and to otherwise service additional students. To date these additional operating funds remain the missing piece of the puzzle. This is a particularly acute problem for McMaster because about 9% of its current enrollment is above the "corridor" for which the provincial government provides operating funds. Hope that the provincial government would begin to address the need for additional operating funds in recent announcements has not been borne out. As a result, McMaster's administration appears to have revised downward its original targets for increased enrollment. I suspect that these numbers may undergo further adjustments over the next couple of years depending on the response of both the provincial government and the universities to rising societal pressures as arrival of the double cohort approaches. In any case, I take some comfort from the considerable sensitivity McMaster's administration has thus far shown in keeping projected enrollment increases tied to increases in the resources needed to maintain the quality of education provided to those students.
Turning to matters somewhat more directly in the hands of MUFA, there are several developments to report to you from the Joint Committee. As indicated in my last report, an accounting of recent usage of the negotiated pool of money for tuition bursaries for dependents of MUFA members revealed that the pool was not being fully utilized. This allowed us to negotiate an increase in individual bursaries that greatly reduced the increasing gap between tuition fees and the amount of the bursary. We were subsequently able to make this increase retroactive to last September and to arrive at a memorandum of agreement with the administration to carry any surplus or deficit in this pool over from year to year and to have the Joint Committee set the amount of the tuition bursary for the subsequent year at its last meeting of each academic year. This arrangement is similar to the way in which the modem pool is managed by the Joint Committee and allows for a maximum size bursary based on current usage of the pool. Of course the size of the pool continues to be eligible for renegotiation whenever the Joint Committee negotiates remuneration.
The subcommittee charged with reviewing the CP/M model is now having regular meetings and beginning to make some progress. It appears to me that this committee has decided against any major revision of the model, and is instead working to remove ambiguities and to correct some problems which have arisen in administration of the model. I have some hope that the work of this subcommittee will be completed before the Joint Committee adjourns for the summer.
The benefits performance analysis mentioned in my last report has been agreed to in the Joint Committee and is currently awaiting the arrival of necessary data from Human Resources. I also mentioned in my last report that the Joint Committee had agreed to develop a policy on rights and obligations of MUFA members during work stoppages by other groups. That work has begun and several drafts have been exchanged between MUFA and administration representatives. Although some differences clearly remain to be resolved, I hope that a mutually acceptable document might be arrived at before the summer recess. The MUFA representatives to the Joint Committee have indicated that they wish to submit any resulting document to a vote of the membership before final acceptance.
NEWS IN BRIEF
I shall briefly mention two other developments which may be of interest to you. Over the past two years, a joint MUFA-Senate drafting committee worked out a number of proposed changes to the Tenure and Promotion (yellow) document. These changes required the approval of both the MUFA Executive and the Senate Committee on Appointments before going to the Senate for final approval. Most of these changes were relatively minor matters of increasing clarity and other "housekeeping" issues. These changes have recently received the necessary approvals and are now in effect. However, one set of changes attempted to restrict the powers of appeal tribunals in various ways. Not surprisingly, the MUFA Executive and the Senate Committee on Appointments were unable to reach agreement on such changes, and no changes will be made to the appeal process for tenure and promotion at this time. I suspect this issue will be revisited in the near future as some are convinced that too many appeals of tenure and promotion decisions have been upheld by appeal tribunals and that some remedy must be sought by changing the process or otherwise restraining the powers of such tribunals. Others feel that if there is a problem it is in the selection and training of tribunals, rather than in the nature of the process or the powers assigned to tribunals.
A final development is that the MUFA Executive has submitted to the MUFF Committee a proposal for a free flu shot clinic for faculty and staff. The fate of this proposal is not yet known, but I hope it will be approved in time for such a clinic next fall. If it is approved I hope that more individuals will take advantage of it than those who utilized the self-funding clinic provided last fall. My personal testimonial is that I received my first flu shot at that clinic, and for the first time that I remember did not suffer a case of flu last winter. Not statistically significant, but definitely encouraging.
DOES MUFA REPRESENT ME?
It seems to be traditional for the outgoing MUFA President to take the liberty of commenting on any aspect of the Association or its operation he/she considers important. I would like to comment on two such matters having to do with the relationship of MUFA to individual faculty members.
More than once during my term of office I have heard a faculty member somewhat angrily pronounce that MUFA does not represent him/her because it has not adopted some position which the faculty member holds. I am reasonably sure that I have said the same thing sometime in the past. I believe that it is important to begin by realizing that individual members of MUFA hold about as wide and varied a range of opinions on any topic as one can possibly imagine. This being so, it is obvious that almost any action MUFA does or does not take will not be in agreement with the views of some members. Does this mean that MUFA does not represent those members?
Beyond the obvious sense in which MUFA represents all CP/M faculty and professional librarians in remuneration negotiations, I think the first and foremost sense in which it represents its members is by doing everything within its power to preserve their right to hold just such a range of opinion and act on those opinions in legal manners without retribution or discrimination. After this basic issue of academic freedom on which we can perhaps all agree, the situation is similar to that in any representative democracy. We elect representatives, not to perform the impossible task of simultaneously forwarding all of our divergent viewpoints, but with the expectation that they will operate with due diligence on behalf of our collective interests. Such operation involves debate and compromise so that a final outcome may not be ideal even in the mind of the representatives, but simply the best that could be obtained. If an individual is consistently at variance with the actions of such representatives, clearly one should seek different representatives or consider becoming a representative oneself. The latter brings me to my second concern.
STEWARDSHIP OF THE ASSOCIATION
In the last few years it has become increasingly difficult to persuade faculty members to stand for election to the MUFA Executive, particularly with respect to the offices of Vice-President, President and Past President. It is not difficult to think of reasons that this might be happening. Decreases in faculty and staff numbers have meant increased workloads for all of us. Increasing emphasis on involvement in multiple collaborative research efforts also consumes more of our time. With the exception of a small amount of teaching release for a few of these Executive positions, the University does little to reward filling these roles and a few of our colleagues will certainly seek to ridicule those who do.
Whatever the reasons for this problem, the alternative to having capable concerned individuals fill these roles is potentially disastrous for each of us as faculty members and for the University as a whole. Most of the positions on the MUFA Executive are far from onerous. Even the position of President is certainly not the most time consuming job I have had and proved to be more rewarding than some. I would thus encourage each of you to think long and hard about declining if approached about filling one of these roles. Better yet, if you think you might be willing to do one of these jobs, indicate your willingness to the MUFA office. In my view, each of us owes it to ourselves and to each other to fill one of these roles at least once or twice in our academic careers.
In closing, I would like to thank the membership of MUFA for giving me the opportunity to serve as President. I would also like to thank the current MUFA Executive for their support, assistance and counsel in all matters during the past year. Most of all, I would like to thank the MUFA staff, Phyllis and Kelly, for their tireless efforts and direction, without which no one in their right mind would attempt to do this job.
Professor of Religious Studies
David Robert Kinsley, who taught in the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster for thirty-one years (1969-2000) and was chair of the department from 1989 until 1994, died on the morning of April 25, 2000, his sixty-first birthday.
Throughout the 1980s and 90s, Dr. Kinsley was clearly among the most popular lecturers on campus. Though his courses were not a required component of any programme, they routinely attracted hundreds of students. He was well known for the rapport he established with students, for his accessibility, compassion, creativity, and joy in teaching. His remarkable adaptability was apparent not only in his continuing ability to attract and captivate students, but also in the significant degree in which the subject matter of his courses shifted over the years. Though he began as a specialist in Hinduism and Hindu goddesses, the latter half of his career saw him moving increasingly toward cross-cultural studies of important themes: "Health, Healing, and Religion"; "Religion and Ecology"; "Images of the Divine Feminine"; "Women and Religion". All these courses were introduced by Dr. Kinsley; for several he wrote textbooks that have become standard in the field. Most popular was his course on "Cults in North America"; again, it was a course designed to meet student interest and need, not one that arose naturally out of Dr. Kinsley's own field of specialization.
David won a number of teaching awards, including the MSU Social Sciences Award (1984-85), the Martin Johns Award for special contributions to Part-Time Studies (1993), and the President's Award for Excellence in Instruction (2000). The last-named award was presented by President Peter George in David's home shortly before he passed away.
Friends, colleagues, and students wishing to remember David Kinsley are invited to contribute to a scholarship fund in his memory. Donations may be made out to McMaster University, Gilmour Hall Room 110.Stephen Westerholm,
Chair, Department of Religious Studies
1999 OCUFA Teaching & Academic Librarianship
Congratulations to MIROSLAV LOVRIC, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics and recently-elected member of the MUFA Executive, who will be honoured with a 1999 OCUFA Teaching Award at a special ceremony on Friday, June 9, 2000.
Established in 1973 and presented annually by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), the awards acknowledge the immense contributions made to post-secondary education by professors and academic librarians. In announcing the 1999 Award winners, Deborah Flynn, President of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, said, "These are the men and women who both inspire and inform their students. The recipients of the teaching awards go that extra mile to ensure that their students receive the very best in course development, instruction, and research".
Mactron Motion Passed at AGM
The MUFA Annual General Meeting on April 18, 2000 unanimously passed the following motion.
"The concerns which many members of the McMaster University Faculty Association have expressed with regard to the new video board or Mactron are numerous and include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following: the possible zoning violation, visual pollution, the potential driving hazard, the detriment to relations with our Westdale neighbours, the excessive use of University facilities for private- sector advertising, the representation of the Mactron as primarily a scoreboard, and the approval process for the board within McMaster. The McMaster University Faculty Association urges the administration to actively seek alternatives to the current Mactron arrangements. We urge that, in the process of further deliberations, the administration provide clear, accurate information to all parties concerned, within both McMaster and the broader community, about the alternatives being considered and seek the responses of such parties prior to taking actions which are difficult to reverse. We further request that the incoming President of the McMaster University Faculty Association convey this motion to President Peter George."
Bernadette Lynn did send this motion to Peter George, and Paul Rapoport and I took the motion to the meeting of the Board of Governors on Thursday April 27, 2000. I spent about five minutes explaining the motion and emphasizing the fact that our community is now faced with two problems — the Mactron itself and the climate of suspicion surrounding Mactron decisions. President Peter George then responded. There was a story the next day on the McMaster Daily News web page which you can access in the archives at: http://dailynews.mcmaster.ca. In his remarks, the President agreed that we need to consider alternatives to the current situation and stated that this issue is now being investigated. Paul Rapoport and I will be meeting on Wednesday May 17 with President George to discuss the matter further. The new MSU President, Marc Marzotto, will also attend as will other representatives of the administration.
Other parties which are actively concerned with the Mactron are the Ainslie Wood/Westdale Association of Homeowners and the City of Hamilton. Peter George's stated intention is to take a recommendation to the Board of Governors at its next meeting on June 15. We will keep you updated via g-mufagab (MUFA members can be added to g-mufagab by contacting the MUFA office: firstname.lastname@example.org). Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.
Members Vote to Lower Mill Rate
At the MUFA Annual General meeting on April 18, 2000, members voted to lower the mill rate on which MUFA dues are calculated from 5.3 to 5.2. 1999/2000 Treasurer, Bernadette Lynn, explained that the current reserve fund was in line with Faculty Association policy and that it should be sufficient to cover any unexpected expenses and requirements. Regular operating expenses could be met using the lower mill rate.
The 5.2 mill rate will go into effect on July 1, 2000.
I wish to differ with Paul Rapoport's objections (March Newsletter) to the outdoor message board that has recently been installed on campus. Over the weeks since it has been introduced, I have found the board an unfailing source of both instruction and amusement. Apart from the structure's indisputable aesthetic appeal, it has been providing the community with much information only with difficulty obtainable elsewhere; for example, alerting students to prime-time airings of such valuable television features as "Friends", and thus giving them an attractive alternative to taxing their overstrained minds with undue attention to university course materials. As for Professor Rapoport's complaint about lack of prior consultation with the McMaster community regarding the erection of the board, I must say that such expectations savour of outworn attitudes dating from the past century. Such consultative fetishes either have already been or are rapidly being, set aside in forward-looking twenty-first-century capitals like Belgrade, Moscow, and Queen's Park.
Nowadays, with every visit to our campus I eagerly anticipate poring over the exciting words and (above all) images displayed on the board. Invariable, as I drive by it, my gaze lingers over these as though transfixed. During my final conversation with my much-regretted colleague, Mazbool Aziz, I confided to him that I never passed the board without giving it an enthusiastic salute. He, I'm pleased to say, applauded my initiative and urged me to pursue it with redoubled zeal.
P.S. An inquiry should surely be made into the increasing numbers of suicidal student pedestrians in the vicinity of the message board. Repeatedly, when driving by it, I have turned my gaze reluctantly away from that electronic miracle, only to find a student, manifesting obvious symptoms of dementia, practically under the wheels of my car.
I would like to respond to Paul Rapoport's comments in the MUFA's newsletter (Volume 26.5). I have been involved with McMaster for a great number of years; both as a student in the Humanities and as a volunteer. I write this note on my own behalf.
I happened to be on campus today and saw the board that is described "as a gigantic, garish eyesore, a hazard to driving, and an insult to the University". What drivel.
The MacTron indicates to me that the University is not the insular and elitist community that Mr. Rapoport envisions when he suggests that it should be a "...visual calm environment conducive to learning and study". On the contrary, the sign indicates to me that the University is alive, inclusive and reaches out to the community at large.
May I suggest that Mr. Rapoport take a few steps out of his pathetic little shell and join the real world. The private sector and the business community are partners and believers in establishing a strong and economic future for the University. Mr. Rapoport might like to look at the significant donations to "The Changing Tomorrow Campaign". These donations have been made by individuals, students, foundations, faculty and corporations. I think that these groups make up a large and generous community.
I am sorry Mr. Rapoport, "That the decision to install this board was not based on input from the University community". It was based on a much larger community and I hope, for your sake, you might join it.Gill Cooper
Will You be RETIRING this Year?
ELECTRONIC MAIL ACCOUNTS: It is agreed that provision of e-mail computer accounts for retired faculty members is to be treated similarly to the provision of mail boxes or library cards. All retired faculty should have access to an e-mail account on the same terms as active faculty. Like the mail box or library card, the e-mail account is to be used for University or academic business. The account may be accessed from University computers or by modem. In the latter case, if the retired faculty member wishes a fee modem account, this is also available and can be arranged (for example, through the purchase of vouchers at the Bookstore or by provision of a research account number).
Given past experience with illegitimate use of computer accounts by "hackers", it is recognized that for management purposes it might be necessary to require retired faculty to renew the e-mail computer account from time to time, or for CIS to remove accounts that are inactive over a long period of time.
This policy shall be reviewed no later than five years after its implementation.Approved by Joint Committee
December 9, 1996
TERMINATION OPTION: During the fall of 1996, the Joint Committee recommended and the President agreed that those faculty who at the time of retirement elect the Pension Plan's Termination Option, should continue to qualify for the normal retirement benefits.
MAJOR MEDICAL & DENTAL BENEFITS: Continuation of benefits which were in effect prior to retirement, for retiree, spouse and eligible children. Out-of-Province/Out-of-Country-Coverage is reduced to $10,000/lifetime. It is recommended that you obtain extra travel insurance very time you travel out of Ontario or Canada.
LIFE INSURANCE: At normal retirement age (65 years) you will be provided with a paid up policy of $5,000. If you wish to convert your insurance to a private insurance plan, you must apply within one month of your retirement date. Please contact Human Resources for more information.
If you take early retirement, you are able to keep your current coverage (Grandfathered Plan) or the basic plan of 175% of salary (maximum salary $100,000) by paying the full premium which is based on age factors, gender and smoking vs non-smoking. At age 65, however, the policy will be reduced to the Paid Up policy of $5,000.
1. Faculty and Staff who have retired but have a post-retirement appointment for which they receive remuneration from the University shall pay for parking (effective July 1, 1992).
2. Faculty and staff who have retired on or before June 30, 1992 shall continue to receive free parking; in the case of those who are under 65 the free parking shall be provided on West Campus. Any who have already reached 65 and are parking on West Campus should receive a Central Campus sticker immediately.
3. Faculty and staff who retire after June 30, 1992 may obtain a permit which allows (I) free parking on West Campus at all times and (ii) free parking on Central Campus for the period May to August and after 12:30 p.m. on days when classes are held between September and April; alternatively such individuals may purchase, at the Central Campus rate for eight months, a permit for Central Campus.
Notice: to Retirees with Restricted Retiree Parking Permits
(1) HOURLY PARKING
We are pleased to inform you that the automation of the kiosks has given us an opportunity to set up 1, 2 and 3 hour blocks of parking for retirees holding restricted retiree permits that become valid at 12:30 p.m. Retirees who wish to park on central campus prior to 12:30 p.m. may purchase parking for the duration of time prior to 12:30 p.m. only. The following deposit [subject to change] is required when entering the University between the given times below:11:30-12:30 — 1 hour —— $2.50
10:30-12:30 — 2 hours —— $4.50
09:30-12:30 — 3 hours —— $6.50
Prior to 09:30 requires —— $8.50
The above issued permits must be displayed with a restricted retiree permit, which takes effect at 12:30 pm.
(2) CENTRAL CAMPUS PARKING
Eight month central campus parking permits are available for the regular permit fee of $33/month [price subject to change].
Retiree permits are for the sole use of the retiree and are not transferrable to family members.
Please contact the Parking & Transit Services office, CUC 102, at 24921 or e-mail: email@example.com
RECREATIONAL FACILITIES: Anyone who retired prior to 1999 will continue to receive free membership at the Ivor Wynne Centre. Those who retired in 1999 may apply for membership at one-half price. All retirees after 1999 are eligible for membership in the Ivor Wynne Centre at a rate that will be prescribed annually and approved by the Board of Governors.Approved by Joint Committee
June 21, 1999
CAUT SERVICES: Individuals who were eligible for membership in CAUT before retirement, are eligible for membership as CAUT retirees. Individual retired members may join CAUT as Retired Associate Members for an annual fee of $25. For this fee they receive a subscription to the CAUT Bulletin, and may join a number of group plans offered for Life Insurance, Personal Accident Insurance, Family Life Insurance, Professional Property Insurance, Group Home Insurance, Travel Insurance, and other financial services. Retired members can also take advantage of discounted travel rates offered by Finlay Travel.
RETIRE WEB: RetireWeb is a WWW site packed with financial planning information for Canadians of all ages to help them with all stages of retirement: saving for retirement, options at retirement and post retirement. You can reach it through the MUFA web page (www.mcmaster.ca/mufa) — just go to "LINKS" and click on "Other Interesting Sites" — or go directly to www.retireweb.com/index.html.
Ballot ResultsI have counted the ballots which were distributed to all MUFA members on May 1, 2000 requesting a YES or NO response to the following question:
I hereby approve the Remuneration Committee Policy proposed by the Ad Hoc Committee to Consider the Role of the Remuneration Committee and amended at the MUFA AGM on April 18, 2000.
YES 137 NO 0 SPOILED 0
Total Ballots Cast 137
Say it isn't so
"I was recently on a tour of Latin
and the only regret I have is that I didn't study my Latin harder in school
so I could converse with those people.".
Dan Quayle US VP
McMASTER FACULTY SALARY STATISTICS 1999/2000*