Is the Future of Academic Status at the University of Toronto Being Questioned?

St. Mike’s administrators have offered monetary remuneration on the condition that faculty and librarians at the college give up academic status, their tenure and permanent status in their first negotiations to secure a collective agreement. We have seen academic status threatened south of the border now we are seeing it at one of the University of Toronto’s affiliated colleges. As St. Mike’s college is a member of the University’s Faculty of Arts & Sciences, even though they have a semi-autonomous status, this has raised many questions in the community. Tenure ensures academic freedom which is essential to an atmosphere conducive to the free search for truth and the attainment of excellence in the University. On Oct. 8, less than a week, faculty and librarians will be in a lockout or strike situation simply because they will not be bought and give up their belief that tenure and permanent status is a core component of teaching and research at a publicly-funded, academic institution. We urge the community to become informed and realize that what is happening at St. Mike’s could just as easily happen in another sector of our community. We can say it doesn’t involve us, close eyes and forget it is happening – but can we really do that? Are these not the values we uphold as academic librarians?

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