Long before I had any faces to put to the name, I was familiar with OCUFA. The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association is one of the sponsors OLIP is most closely connected to, not least of all because our very own Programme Director Dr. J used to be the organization’s President!
Meeting with OCUFA’s current President Mark Rosenfeld, Communications Director Graham Stewart and Policy Analyst (and OLIP alum!) Erica Rayment was fascinating, especially for the more academic (read: nerdy) among us.
As new university graduates, OCUFA’s goal of promoting high quality and affordable education resonates with us. OCUFA’s concerns about the declining quality of university education and addressing growing class sizes are matters that I regularly thought about and discussed with peers and professors throughout university. And for those of us who are considering careers in academia or who take a personal interest in education policy, these are issues we will continue to care deeply about over the course of our careers.
During the meeting, we discussed pressing issues in Canadian universities today. One relevant topic is the Council of Canadian Academies’ recent assessment of the persistent underrepresentation of women in universities. The CCA reports that women are less likely than their male counterparts in the same field to obtain a university teaching and research position. This, despite the fact that women now represent a larger proportion of doctoral students and graduates; women are still underrepresented in teaching and research positions relative to their share of the general population in Canadian universities. OCUFA lobbies to address this and other such important issues.
Whether we go on to work in government or scurry back to school, I know that many of us will keep OCUFA’s work in mind. We thank very much for their time and sponsorship!