On behalf of the Concordia University Part-time Faculty Association, I wish to convey our support to our fellow academic colleagues at Mount Allison. Strikes are distasteful, but regrettably there are times when they are necessary. The cornerstone of any university is predicated upon its guarantee of academic freedom for faculty and students. This is an ancient principle that cannot be bargained away or diminished. In an era where many forces wish to inject their specific agenda into the core definition of the academic mission, it is paramount for faculty to defend their independence and to defend the question of pedagogy in higher education. We at Concordia also share the MAFA concern over questions of workload, as this has a direct impact over the right and quality of research, as well as the quality of the educational experience of students.
There are many potential avenues to seek resolution for the strains that budgets have created for modern universities, but first among them must be effective dialogue. We therefore strongly support the MAFA call for a Special Mediator to be appointed to come and settle the dispute between faculty and Mount Allison.
To the students of Mount Allison, we express our sympathies and ask that you show support for your faculty at this time. Though you are rightly concerned about time lost during this action, you must know that your faculty would not have taken the steps they have without it being the last resort. The working conditions they are seeking to defend are the learning conditions which enhance your educational experience on a daily basis. Show the University that you support your faculty, and they will see that a negotiated solution is in the best interests of all parties.
In solidarity with the Full-time, Part-time Faculty and students of Mount Allison,
Dr. David Douglas
Concordia University Part-time Faculty Association