top of page

AUAFA news​

​An eBulletin is published after each Executive meeting with announcements and Executive Reports.

AUAFA publishes a Faculty Catalogue each year

profiling Faculty Professional Practice and Research.

Scholar Strike Canada 2023

The AUArts Faculty Association invites members to participate in Scholar Strike Canada 2023. We invite you to drop in to the Faculty Association office (547) to participate in the following online teach-ins:

  • Tuesday, October 24
    12:15 - 1:45 MST

    "Refusing the Neoliberal Carrot: Academic Precarity and Solidarity"

  • Wednesday, October 25
    1:10 - 2:40 MST

    "The University and Its Extractivism"

See below for teach-in details taken from the Scholar Strike Canada website. Note that times are in EST (MST is 2 hours earlier).


"On Tuesday October 24th and Wednesday, October 25th, SSC will lead a two-day labour action, "Teaching and Learning Against Social Abandonment," calling on workers across the country to refuse academic business as usual, and instead organize and participate in popular education workshops, teach-ins, and protest actions. Recognizing important differences in the labour conditions of various faculty and student academic workers, librarians, administrative, service and maintenance workers, SSC is calling for collective action redirecting our teaching and learning toward one another and the wellbeing of the communities within which we live and work." 

Screenshot 2023-10-18 160939.png
Screenshot 2023-10-18 161046.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-09 at 11.51.47
Screen Shot 2020-12-09 at 11.52.10
Screen Shot 2020-12-09 at 2.35.53 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-09 at 11.52.49
Screen Shot 2020-12-09 at 11.53.24

Scholars Strike & Teach-In Sept 9-10, 2020


The Alberta University of the Arts Faculty Association supports the Scholar Strike and Teach-In ( scheduled for September 9-10, 2020. Professors and students across North America are outraged at the relentless police killings of Black, Indigenous, and racialized people in the US and in Canada. We understand that these violent killings result from normalizing white supremacy and that we need to work together to build a culture and society that ends the systemic racism creating the conditions for this constant devaluing of racialized lives.

In the midst of a triple pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus, the worsening climate crisis, and the systemic racism inflicted by colonialization, we realize that we must work together with honesty, compassion, and care for one another, so that we can face the challenges of our times. We have so many ways to connect to the larger social movements for justice that we are part of if we choose to move forward with empathy and grace. 

This evolving moment will be whatever we collectively make of it. We hope that what we are living through what could be considered growing pains, as we mature towards a culture that truly respects the lives and lived experiences of Indigenous, Black and racialized peoples, but for that growth and maturity to take place, we must learn to better listen and act when confronted with systemic racism and bigotry. 

We respect that faculty and students will do what makes sense for them in their contexts, and we support them as we also voice our solidarity with and gratitude for the people out in the streets who refuse to accept unjust violence. We feel not only rage and grief, but also love and care for the ones who’ve been lost and those who continue to be endangered by systemic racism. We are grateful to be living on the traditional Treaty 7 territories of the Blackfoot people where we strive to be better relatives with the land. To promote reconciliation, the AUAFA acknowledges the traditional territories and oral practices of the Blackfoot Confederacy: Kainai, Piikani, Siksika, the Tsuu T’ina, and Îyâxe Nakoda Nations and the peoples of the Métis Nation (Region 3).

Explore the economics of Alberta art

On February 27, 2018, Statistics Canada released Culture Satellite Account (CSA) updated economic data for the Canadian arts, culture and sport sectors from 2010 – 2016.

The CSA is an accounting framework that measures the economic importance of culture and sport in the Canadian economy in terms of output, gross domestic product (GDP) and employment, and is supported in part by the Government of Alberta.

In 2016, culture and sport goods and services contributed $6 billion to Alberta's GDP, the fourth highest among the provinces. Like most industries across Alberta, the culture and sport sectors saw a slight decrease in total GDP in 2015 and 2016. However, over the long term, both sectors continue to show growth.  

From 2010 to 2016, Alberta’s culture GDP increased overall by 15 per cent, for a total of $5.3 billion in 2016:

of the culture GDP, the largest growth was observed for live performance (44 per cent growth)
Additionally, Alberta’s culture sector provided a total of 57,816 jobs in 2016.

Alberta’s arts community makes important contributions to the overall economic impact of the province’s culture sector. Through strong and stable funding through the Government of Alberta, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts will continue to support artistic activity across the province to improve Albertan’s quality of life and contribute to the diversification of Alberta’s economy.



My dear Fellow members,


You will find attached the latest ACIFA climate survey. Thank you all who participated in this latest iteration. 67 out of 107 members responded! It is a very important document for us as your Faculty Association.  It helps us gauge the tenor of the association members, and see what the driving issues may be. I would like to encourage you all to participate and attend the upcoming ACADFA General Meeting. We will have an opportunity there to talk about this survey in greater detail, and discuss some of its implications.


When you read the survey, I would like to draw your attention to the split in the survey, the first set of questions (1-13) are questions common to all partner institutions of ACIFA. The second set are questions ACADFA puts forward. The set of questions for the Alberta wide portion finds our members responding only above the mean once, and for 6 of the 13 questions we are at the lowest percentage in the province. 


I would argue the point that gives me the greatest pause is how many of our members chose neutral. To me this is not an answer of  “everything is okay”, but one of weariness. I don’t want to prevaricate and say that everything will be alright. I do believe though that we can resist and solve some of the looming challenges, but we will need your help and participation.

In solidarity,


Natali Rodrigues


Contract disputes for faculty, graduate students currently go to mandatory binding arbitration



General observations are that many of our members often chose “3 – Neutral” to many of the questions. Considering this along with the fluctuating response rate over the last 3 years, it is noticed that our averages remain relatively steady/neutral. So, for the purposes of a summary, it might be worthwhile to identify where there are significant differences (strongly agree/disagree) as well as where there are combined differences (mostly agree/disagree). An example of this might be with Q3: “I have enough time to attend to my professional development needs.” Although 34.4% of respondents selected, “4 – Agree” we also had a combined 36% that either “2 – Disagree” (29.7%) or “1 – Strongly disagree” (6.3%) and there were no respondents that, “5 – Strongly agree.”


Questions 1-13 are common to all ACIFA member surveys and questions 14-25 are specific to ACAD.


  • The response rate has gone down to 54% (64/118) from 61% in 2015, which is likely due to the fact that 2015 was a Collective Agreement (CA) Negotiation year. In 2014 the response rate was 47%.

  • Q7: “Senior administration understands day-to-day challenges faced by instructors.” A combined 56.2% disagree with 32.8% selecting, “2 – Disagree” and 23.4% selecting, “1 – Strongly disagree” versus 15.6% of respondents that selected, “4 – Agree.”

  • Both Q11: “Academic Council has a meaningful impact on academic decisions” and Q:12 “The President of this institution provides effective leadership” have 42.2% of respondents selecting “3 – Neutral.” This may indicate that there is some opacity to these two areas of the institution to our members and/or that well, people are basically okay with how they are going.

  • Q17: “The College Administration is effective in the support and promotion of faculty research” is predominantly neutral with 42.2% or respondents selecting “3 – Neutral.” It should be noted however that there has been a steady increase of the support over the past 6 years to 2.91.

  • Q19: “The College treats sessional faculty in a fair and equitable manner” is very spread out with a combined 36% that “Agree” and 42.2% that “Disagree.” The largest portion of respondents, at 31.3% chose, “Agree – 4.”

  • Q21: “I support the overall direction of the College under the Board of Governors” has 45.3% at “Neutral – 3.” Again, this may possibly be due to a certain opacity with the role of the BoG or, alternatively, that those surveyed believe that the BoG is doing okay. There is a slight dip in the with 2.67/5 for 2016 however, these fluctuations are common over the past 6 years.

  • In 2016, ACADFA added a new Q25: “I support the current academic schedule (4.5 hour timetable).” The respondents were rather spread out with a combined 40.6% that “Agree” and 34.4% that “Disagree.” The largest portion of respondents, at 28.1% chose, “Agree – 4.”


In the fall of 2015, the Government of Alberta consulted on changes to the labour relations model for faculty members and graduate students at Alberta’s public post-secondary institutions. The Legislative Assembly of Alberta recently passed essential services legislation for a variety of public sector workers including non-academic staff members; however, no immediate changes to the labour relations model for faculty and graduate students were made. 


Advanced Education is now launching the next phase of the labour relations consultation in order to determine the most effective post-secondary labour relations model. Government would like to hear from all stakeholders including faculty members, graduate students and anyone else interested in this discussion. The guide is also available on a new consultation website at so that you may provide your feedback online.


The consultation website has information on all of the different ways you can participate and provide your feedback, including:


  1. Online Feedback Form:

Through this online form you will be able to provide feedback on some of the main areas identified in the fall 2015 consultation, such as scope of collective bargaining, bargaining agent status and phasing in of changes.


  1. Online Written Submission:

You may also choose to prepare a written response to the discussion guide and submit it to Advanced Education no later than October 17, 2016. Written submissions may be emailed to:


  1. Discussion Sessions:

Advanced Education will be scheduling stakeholder discussion sessions in various locations throughout Alberta prior to the October 17th deadline. The discussion sessions will be open to anyone who wants to attend and will include a brief presentation by department staff followed by a Q&A session. Dates, times and locations for the discussion sessions will be posted on the consultation website once they have been finalized.


If you have any questions about the consultation please contact Advanced Education at or at 780-422-0512.


Thank you.

COU Statement: 2016 Federal Budget Recognizes Value of Strong Postsecondary Institutions to Canada

TORONTO, March 22, 2016 /CNW/ - "The federal government has signaled in the 2016 Budget its belief that investing in students and research and innovation is key to well-being and prosperity in today's and tomorrow's knowledge-based economy.


Ontario universities thank Prime Minister Trudeau and Finance Minister Morneau for an economic plan that draws on the power of a university-educated population to help build a strong, revitalized economy for all Canadians.


Our graduates and their ability to innovate, along with the world-class university research they conduct, is a valuable resource in helping build stronger communities and a stronger Canada.


The new $2-billion Postsecondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund will provide critical funding to enhance and modernize our research and commercialization facilities.


The additional $95 million annual boost for Canada's research granting councils recognizes the fundamental role of research in an innovative society. That investment will keep top talent at Ontario's universities, where they will carry out the innovative research that is so vital to the health, prosperity and quality of life of all Canadians.


Enhancing the Canada Student Loans Program will make postsecondary education more affordable and open up new opportunities for those from low-income families, and ensure graduates can manage debt as they transition into the workforce.


University students will also benefit from the work of the new Postsecondary Industry Partnership and Co-operative Placement Initiative to expand work-integrated learning.


We thank Minister Morneau also for investing in education for Canada's Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous learners are achieving greater success for themselves, their families and their communities at Ontario universities in increasing numbers, and it is our hope that more Indigenous youth will see the benefit of higher education if they are given more opportunities in primary and secondary schools.


The 2016 Federal Budget recognizes the value to Canada of strong postsecondary institutions, and Ontario universities are working to ensure their graduates are leading contributors to a strong economy."


David LindsayPresident and CEOCouncil of Ontario Universities

COU is the voice of Ontario's universities, promoting the value of education, research and innovation that leads to social, cultural and economic success.

Proposed Labour Law will comply with Supreme Court Ruling


March 15, 2016

The Government of Alberta is amending legislation to ensure it protects Albertans’ access to public services while respecting public sector workers’ bargaining rights.

If passed, Bill 4, An Act to Implement a Supreme Court Ruling Governing Essential Services, will modernize two key Alberta labour laws to reflect rulings by the Supreme Court of Canada and the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. Both courts found Alberta’s public sector strike prohibitions interfere with collective bargaining.

“This legislation is a made-in-Alberta solution that addresses our province’s unique needs. It’s fair to unionized employees, employers and the general public, and will ensure the public continues to have access to vital public services in the event of a labour dispute.”

Christina Gray, Minister of Labour

The proposed legislation supports the collective bargaining process, places more responsibility for resolving labour disputes in the hands of employers and unions, and ensures Albertans have access to essential services in the event of a public sector strike.

The government held extensive consultations with Alberta’s public sector employers and unions on this model throughout the fall of 2015, led by well-respected labour lawyer Andy Sims, Q.C. Albertans were also invited to express their views in an online survey.

“I would like to thank all parties for their insightful submissions. Their collective wisdom has helped the government design legislation balancing the charter protected right to free collective bargaining with the need to protect the public at large by maintaining essential services during a labour dispute.”

Andy Sims Q.C.

The proposed new essential services legislation would apply to:

All Government of Alberta employees
Employees of agencies, boards and commissions
Non-academic staff at post-secondary institutes
Employees of Alberta Health Services
Employees of other approved hospitals (can include continuing senior care facilities, health centres and religious-based hospitals)
This proposed legislation amends the Public Service Employee Relations Act and the Labour Relations Code.

Related information

Bill 4 – An Act to Implement a Supreme Court Ruling Governing Essential Services








Background information

Labour Relations Code
Public Service Employee Relations Act
Saskatchewan Federation of Labour Supreme Court decision

Media inquiries

Matt Dykstra

Press Secretary, Labour

Workplace Civility workshops


January 21, 2016


ACADFA and ACAD have been working together to bring Dr. Loraleigh Keashly to ACAD after attending one of her workshops last spring. Dr Keashly is an Associate Professor at Wayne State University  "Her research, teaching and consulting focus on conflict and conflict resolution at the interpersonal, group, intergroup and organizational level."

Workplace Civility workshops will be offered free of charge to all faculty, staff and administration. These workshops follow on the success of the Research Ethics Week held in 2014 and the FIELDWORK: Artistic Research, Ethics + Academic Freedom symposium held in 2015. ACAD has generously offered to pay all expenses associated with Dr Keashly's visit.

Please register for sessions via the schedule below. Two different workshops are being offered at two different times in order to accommodate everyone's schedules. Please see attached poster for details.



Presentation: “I love this place and these people: Vibrant work relationships in academe”
Thurs Feb 11
10:00 – 11:30
Annex C

Workshop: “Power of the peer: Constructive responses to unprofessional and difficult behavior”
Thurs Feb 11
2:00 – 5:00
Room 520

Workshop: “Power of the peer: Constructive responses to unprofessional and difficult behavior”
Friday Feb 12
9:00 – 12:00
Room 520

Presentation: “I love this place and these people: Vibrant work relationships in academe”
Friday Feb 12
2:30 – 4:00
Room 520


March 10, 2015




























































February 13, 2015




Alberta College of Art + Design Symposium and Exhibition


March 12-14, 2015


Stanford Perrott Lecture Theatre, Main Mall ACAD

1407- 14 Avenue, SW Calgary, AB T2N 4R3 


FREE and open to the public! 


The Alberta College of Art + Design Research Advisory Committee invites you to attend


a public symposium about Artistic Research, Ethics and Academic Freedom.

This symposium follows on the success of Research Ethics Week this past November,

and will provide an opportunity for extended, public discussion with peers and community members

about Artistic Research, Ethics and Academic Freedom,

key issues at core of what we do at ACAD. 


For more information, please contact

Diana Sherlock, Symposium Coordinator at


Full schedule of events available here


is generously supported by

the Alberta College of Art + Design Research Advisory Committee,

the Alberta College of Art + Design Faculty Association (ACADFA),

the Alberta Colleges & Institutes Faculties Association

and the ACAD School of Critical + Creative Studies.




February 4, 2015


We are pleased to announce names of the faculty members who received awards for Years of Service at the Holiday Reception in December.


5 years of service – John Calvelli
10 years of service – Aurora Landin
25 years of service – Gregory Payce
Retiree with 27 years of service – Ken Webb



October 14, 2014

ACAD Teaching Excellence Award Recipients - 2014

Congratulations to Olga Chagaoutinova, Jeff Lennard and Ron Hawker recipients of the ACAD Teaching Excellence Awards.


These awards are for a faculty member who demonstrates outstanding teaching practice, encourages a passion for learning, creativity and innovation, positive student experiences and provides a learning environment that promotes inspired learning and motivates students to achieve.


ACAD Leadership Excellence Award Recipient - 2014

Congratulations to Mackenzie Kelly Frere recipient of the ACAD Leadership Excellence Award Recipient.


This award is for a faculty member serving in a leadership role who demonstrates exceptional leadership, encouragement, mentorship, institutional commitment, and demonstrates the highest standards of respect, integrity and trust.



September 20, 2014

Proposed Collective Agreement approved at the ACAD Board of Governors meeting  September 20th.
New salary and benefit changes will be reflected on members' October 15th, 2014 pay cheque and will be retroactive to July 1st, 2014.
If you have any questions please contact the ACADFA Office.

September 11, 2014

New Collective Agreement Ratified

ACADFA held its ratification meeting for the newly negotiated contract Thursday (Sept. 11).Thanks to all those who came and participated, and of course to all those who cast ballots in the ratification vote.


The new Collective Agreement of July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2016 has been ratified by the membership, with a simple majority (50%+1) of votes cast in favour. 61 ballots were cast. 60 voted yes. One ballot was…I want to say “destroyed” but the illustrations on it were actually quite lovely. We were unable to decide whether a sketch of Gord Ferguson counts as a yea or a nay.



In any case, best wishes, and thanks to our ACIFA Labour Relations Officer, Terry Sway,NAC Team, Chris Frey, Laurel Johannesson, Karl Geist, Natali Rodrigues and Patti Dawkins, for seeing this through.



ACADFA President, Dr. Alex Link




May 15, 2013


This statement was developed jointly by the Alberta College of Art + Design and the Alberta College of Art + Design Faculty Association (ACADFA).

The Alberta College of Art + Design and ACAD Faculty Association have reached an agreement leading to the immediate reinstatement of Mr. Gord Ferguson.​

While the College’s decision to terminate Mr. Ferguson was never intended to be about academic or artistic freedom, the College acknowledges the perception this action may have created. Mr. Ferguson acknowledges that he wishes he could have had a greater opportunity to advise and support his student before he undertook his performance on April 18, 2013. Both Mr. Ferguson and the College regret that the incident happened.

All parties acknowledge that this incident has raised important issues about the relationship between a teacher and student, and a student’s work.

All parties believe that there will be lessons learned from this incident and that the recent public discussion has helped to illustrate the important principles of academic freedom.  The College believes that there is an opportunity to develop clear principles around the issues of academic responsibility and artistic freedom.

The discussion has also reinforced that through open debate we gain insight, understanding, and engage the community:  all goals of an art and design college.  The College and the Faculty Association plan to hold a symposium to openly explore the many dimensions of the performance and the issues it has raised, in the next academic year.

For 87 years, ACAD has been committed to maintaining an environment that allows artistic and academic freedom to flourish in a positive learning environment while, at the same time, protecting the well being of all members of our community. The dialogue initiated by this incident will help us continue to meet this commitment.

Alberta College of Art and Design must reinstate fired professor: CAUT

(Ottawa – May 13, 2013) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is joining with the Alberta College of Art and Design Faculty Association (ACADFA) to challenge the firing of an Alberta College of Art and Design professor following a controversial student art performance.

“We find it unacceptable that an art college would fire a professor because one of his student’s projects, while legal, was controversial,” said James L. Turk, executive director of CAUT. “Universities and colleges should be places where free expression and creative exploration is encouraged.”
Turk said that CAUT has retained legal counsel to represent ACADFA and the professor. A grievance was filed Friday demanding that ACAD reinstate the professor, compensate him for lost wages and benefits, and formally apologize to him.

“Should ACAD refuse, we will ensure the matter can be taken to arbitration,” said Turk. Professor Gordon Ferguson, head of ACAD’s sculpture department, was dismissed on May 6, 2013 following an investigation into a student’s performance art project. For the project, the student killed a chicken in College cafeteria, plucked it and dropped it into a pot as if preparing to eat it. In the letter of termination, the ACAD administration says the incident was “prejudicial to ACAD’s business and reputation.”

“The ACAD administration itself has done serious harm to its reputation by firing Professor Ferguson,” Turk said. “Our organization will be supporting Professor Ferguson to the fullest in this case. The college should do the right thing by recognizing that it made a terrible error, and
it should reinstate him immediately with full compensation.”

The Canadian Association of University Teachers represents 68,000 academic and general staff at over 120 universities and colleges across Canada.

For more information:
James L. Turk, Executive Director
(613) 277-0488 (c)

bottom of page