Meet the new TUCFA pres

The new school year brings the University of Calgary Faculty Association a new president, Anton Colijn.

Colijn, a computer science professor, held the post previously from 1995 to 1997. Among the complicated reasons why he ran again were his interest in the faculty association and the well-being of the university.

"I thought it was a good opportunity to do something for the faculty association, for the university and for our members most importantly," said Colijn.

He foresees working with students during his time. In his previous term, the Students’ Union awarded him for good cooperation and support with students.

"We have a lot of interests in common," said Colijn. "We work together quite well… I don’t want administration to play us off the students. "You get a bigger salary increase, we’ll have to raise tuition.’ We don’t want that."

Colijn has seen many changes between his current term and the pervious one.

"When I was president before, we were just coming out of the drastic cuts that the Klein government had imposed," said Colijn. "Now we’re facing financial problems of a different sort. Chronic underfunding but at the same time increased access for students. Lots of pressure for faculty members to do a lot of research. Much greater workload pressures."

He’s also seen a change in the relationship between tucfa and the administration, particularly around bargaining time. According to Colijn, administration was more confrontational than previous years. However, he’d still like to work agreeably with administration.

"We have had in the past, very cooperative relationship," said Colijn. "In fact, when I attend [Canadian Federation of University Teachers], people from other universities were amazed how we managed to work cooperatively [with administration]."

Colijn also recognizes challenges from the proposed Bill 43, which combines four post-secondary acts into the Post-Secondary Learning Bill. Moreover, he’s disappointed tucfa still does not have a seat on the Board of Governors.

"The bill takes away our right to strike," said Colijn. "We don’t actually strike now according to our faculty agreement. We can negotiate right to strike. It also is increasing powers on Board of Governors and taking away things from General Faculties Council."

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