Re: Our committee and its mission

L. Young (
Sun, 04 Jan 1998 12:22:41 +0000

I agree with David that some problems that we, as a committee of the
Faculty of Arts, encounter relate to issues of governance at a
university-wide level. As I said, in my document sent to you on Nov.
21, 1997, the exploitation of contract faculty should be dealt with at
a higher level than our faculty. The working conditions of contract
faculty at York must be ameliorated in order to reflect a democratic
functioning of York University. Many of us feel that we can be
manipulated because we are excluded from real sources of influence,
which acts to limit our freedom of expression about the lack of
colleagiality in governance out of fear of retribution. There is a
systematic bias in considering contract faculty for tenured openings.
We are being cut back in numbers at an unprecedented rate, as the
figures show, in spite of our seniority. The level of stress some of
us encounter is inordinate.

Thus, I agree with David that governance should be investigated at a
university-wide level. However, any future University Senate committee
working on the issue should receive input from multiple sources,
including governance committees in each of the faculties, not just our
own. That is, our suggestion as a committee to the faculty of Arts
should be to ask for parallel governance committees both horizontal
(other faculties) and vertical (university senate) to our own, rather
than to abolish our committee, although I respect the exasperation
that David must be feeling in order for him to have made his

Re financial resources at the university, although I feel that such
lists are important, it is necessary to see how the figures are
derived (e.g., do operating funds include resources for buildings,
fixed committments, etc.?) and to see the parallel figures of the
university administration so that we can deal with and if need be,
critique them more effectively (For example, will they not say that we
took the figures out of context, did not consider cetain elements, all
the issues, etc). It is important to continue to ask the
administration to clarify the financial information that we have, as
David has done in his memo. Perhaps YUFA and CUPE can be of help in
this regard, as well.
I would like to invite Richard Wellen (CUPE research officer) to one
of our meetings in order to clarify some of our questions.

I hope that you all had pleasant holidays. Sincerely,