The Cheeps

I've got a bunch of items, but none of them deserve an entire blog post because they're too short. If only there were some way of sharing these. Maybe I can create a new kind of social network for these--call it "Chrpr," and people can sent out "cheeps". I'll work on it. In the meantime...

  • A big WELCOME to the Department of Psychology's new Faculty Lecturer, Karon Dragon! She will be teaching courses like intro psych (PSYCO 105), personality, and clinical psychology. We've been trying to hire someone for this position for years, and we're very glad Karon is joining us. (Interesting personal connection: I went to high school and university with her husband, and we still keep in touch!)
  • I had to get a new ONECard, because I just noticed that mine expired. In 2012. (My account hadn't expired, just the card. I could still use it to check out library books, but I would have been in trouble if I had tried to use it to take the LRT.) If the card expired in 2012, that means I got it in 2007. That explains why, in the photo, I had a lot less gray hair.
  • Speaking of 2007, it's been a long, long time since a provincial budget came out that didn't make me worry about my job. Cuts to the Campus Alberta grant reversed? Check. Tuition freeze? Check. I'm just waiting to see what the "trickle-down" to Faculties and Departments will be.
  • Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Right to Strike is fundamental to the collective bargaining process and is constitutionally protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Why is this relevant? Under the Alberta government's Post-Secondary Learning Act (PSLA), staff associations (like the UofA's AASUA and NASA) do NOT have the right to strike. Our new government is going to have to make legislative changes by March 31, 2016. (Not that I ever want to go on strike. Or be locked out.)
  • Speaking of acrimony about contracts... There was a letter to the Gateway in September that claimed, "It’s...the first year in our history that the Fall academic term has begun without a contract between professors and administration." What the--? Shocking, right? (There was, as usual, a bunch of crap in the comments section like, "These professors who have no motivation to excel without raises and bonuses should look into changing professions." Sure. Try to hire top-notch people in a field and promise them no raises. Go ahead. Try.) Don't worry everypony, your instructors still have a contract in place with the University. According to the AASUA, the old contract doesn't "expire," it just continues to be applied--but there are no cost-of-living increases or changes to anything like benefits. A bigger problem is that many AASUA members were due raises in July, which are being withheld by the University until all the disputes surrounding negotiations are resolved. This may take a while, as there are grievances and lawsuits flying back and forth. President Turpin has yet to comment on this situation, which is disappointing.
  • The Department of Psychology, as you may know, is in both the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Science. This is awfully confusing for students, and it necessitates a lot of work on several fronts. For example, the Department Chair has to sit though two rounds of FEC (Faculty Evaluation Committee) meetings, which take up a huge amount of time. This is particularly relevant this year, as our current Chair, Prof. Jeff Bisanz, is ending his term and we will be searching for a new Chair. The position is much less appealing with such a high workload. That's why there's a discussion underway about "consolidation": moving the Department to a single Faculty (either Arts or Science). This is the third time that this issue has been examined in the past decade or so. Don't freak out: if it does happen, it would be years away, and you'll still be able to get a BA or BSc in Psychology. However, not all professors are keen to change Faculties.
  • Did you know there's a reading week this term, for the first time ever? Here's a tip: don't put off all your studying and paper-writing until then. You won't get it all done. Your SU proposed this week as a breather to help ease the stress and improve mental health. If you pull all-nighters and wear yourself down, you'll only make things worse.
Why aren't you studying?


Find It