270+ Concordia Professors Oppose the Privatization of Universities

A growing number of university professors in Québec are joining the protest movement against the government’s funding plan for higher education. The letter below is signed by more than 270 Concordia University Professors. Many McGill University, HEC Montréal and Université de Montréal professors have also added their names to the letter open letter.

Professeurs contre la hausse have also written a manifesto that so far has more than 2100 signatories.

Students, professors, parents and their children walk eastward on Ste-Catherine street on the Sunday, March 18 family march against tuition hikes and in support of accessible education. Photo 2012 by David Widgington.

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Add your name to the below letter.

(version française)

Concordia Professors Opposed to Privatisation of Universities

The efforts of the Charest government to privatize university funding in Quebec have sparked widespread protests.  180,000 students are on strike across the province. Classroom teaching has ground to a halt at many CEGEPs and universities across Quebec, including the University of Montreal, University of Quebec at Montreal, and much of Concordia University.

Students are at the forefront of an important struggle over public education and its role in Quebec society. As professors at Concordia, we join our voices to those of our students. We call on the Quebec government to revisit the university funding plan and rescind the measures that would further privatize our universities through tuition hikes and increased reliance on corporate funding of research. 

Historically, Quebec universities have been funded by the public on the grounds that society is enriched as a result. With public funding, tuition fees have remained low and higher education has remained accessible. Under Quebec’s educational social contract, university graduates who achieve success in the labour market keep university costs low for the next generation through their tax dollars. This arrangement is a crucial part of maintaining a more equitable society in which people have access to health care and education no matter what their income is. This is what the student movement is fighting to defend today. 

The government’s plan is an attempt to break Quebec’s hard won social contract on education. The proposed 75 percent increase in tuition fees will undermine the accessibility of higher education. This is not merely a question of lost earning power for those who cannot afford to attend university. Universities create social, entrepreneurial, artistic, political and scientific networks that contribute to the productivity of our society. When access to university is restricted, society as a whole loses because these productive networks are reduced in size and diversity. Further, since the tuition hike will disproportionately affect women, people of color, and other marginalized groups who consistently earn less, the hike will worsen the economic and social stratification that Quebec society opposes.

The plan also attacks the established role of universities in advancing knowledge for the benefit of society. It expects more research to be funded by private industry, and it urges researchers to commercialize their work.  Research funded by industry privileges short-term and applied objectives with immediate economic benefits and spin-offs. Many research questions that are important to society will fall off the table.  Since professors draw on their research for teaching, the instrumental nature of industry-funded research will compromise their ability to provide a well-rounded, reflective education that will benefit students over their life-course. 

Finally, the government’s plan will undermine the diverse, broad-based university system that exists in Quebec. It calls for universities to attract an additional $54 million in private donations each year, and it ties significant public funding to a university’s success in enticing private donors. These changes pit universities against one another in a contest for private funding, and shift resources toward the universities with the wealthiest alumnae and corporate connections. Greater inequalities between universities will downgrade the training and infrastructure available to many Quebec students, translating into broader inequalities in society at large. The competition for private donations will also place greater emphasis on university branding at the expense of broader ideals and investments in the quality of education.

The government’s plan to privatize the funding of Quebec universities threatens both the accessibility and the quality of our education system. The broad-based student strike embodies the values of our society by opposing a Liberal agenda to privatize educational funding. As professors, we lament the interruption of classes and wish to resume teaching. For this reason, we call on the Charest government to end the strike by rescinding the plan’s tuition increases and emphasis on private funding. In doing so, we stand for the accessible and public nature of higher education that the people of Quebec have long valued and defended. 

Signed / Signée,

Georges Abinader, Part-time Faculty, Department of Physics
Freida Abtan, Part-time Faculty, Design and Computation Arts
Charles Acland, Full-time Faculty, Communication Studies
Ali Akgunduz, Full-time Faculty, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Gisele Amantea, Full-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Vered Amit, Full-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Matthew Anderson, Part-time Faculty, Theological Studies
Alexander Antonopoulos, Part-time Faculty, Philosophy
Sima Aprahamian, Full-time Faculty, Simone de Beauvoir Institute
Michiko Aramki, Part-time Faculty, Simone de Beauvoir Institute
Francesca Astengo, Part-time Faculty, Political Science
Kevin Austin, Full-time Faculty, Music
Ingrid Bachmann, Full-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Renee Baert, Part-time professor, Faculty of Fine Arts
Barbara Barclay, Part-time Faculty, Education
Steve Bates, Assistant Professor (visiting artist), Studio Arts
Max Bergholz, Full-time Faculty, History
Elsa Beaulieu, Part-time faculty, Community and Public Affairs
Beverley Best, Full-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Pascale Biron, Full-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
Patricia Blais, Part-time Faculty, Political Science
Kate Bligh, Part-time Faculty, Theatre
Renée Lambert-Brétière, Part-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology Part-time Faculty
Veronique Bussieres, Part-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
Rob Cassidy, Full-time, Psychology
Marc Champagne, Part-time faculty, Biology
Owen Chapman, Professor Department of Communication
Jean-Claude Bustros, Full time Faculty, The Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Christopher Bober, Librarian, Education
Paula Bouffard, Full-time Faculty, Études françaises
Susie Breier, Librarian, Anthropology, Sociology & Women’s Studies
Kit Brennan, Full-time Faculty, Theatre
Judith Campbell, Part-time Faculty, Education
Sébastien Caquard, Full-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
Josie Caruso, Part-time Faculty, Classics, Modern Languages & Linguistics
Olivier Charbonneau, Associate Librarian, Webster Library
Yogendra Chaubey, Full-time Faculty, Mathematics and Statistics
Scott Chlopan, Part-time Faculty, Education
Vasek Chvatal, Full-time Faculty, Computer Science and Software Engineering
Jenn Clamen, Part-time Faculty, Simone de Beauvoir Institute
Tim Clark, Full-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Natasha Blanchet Cohen, Full-time Faculty, Applied Human Sciences
Sally Cooke, Part-time Faculty, Creative Art Therapies
Tony Costanzo, Full-tme Faculty, Classics, Modern Languages & Linguistics
Elizabeth Couture, Part-time Faculty, Theatre
Pearl Crichton, Part-time Faculty, Sociology/Anthropology
Daniel Dagenais, Full-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Ernestine Daubner, Part-time Faculty, History
Mary Ellen Davis, Part-time faculty Faculty of Fine Arts
Valérie de Courville Nicol, Full-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Diane Demers, Full-time Faculty, Applied Human Sciences
Bipin Desai, Full-time Faculty, Computer Science and Software Engineering
Jill Didur, Full-time Faculty, English
Ivana Djordjevic, Full-time Faculty, Liberal Arts College
David Douglas, Part-time Faculty, The Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Rachida Dssouli, Full-time Faculty, Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering
Martin Duckworth, Part-time Faculty, The Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Ricardo Duenez, Part-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
Sandra Eber, Part-time Faculty, Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Gilbert Emond, Full-time Faculty, Applied Human Sciences
Laura Endacott, Part-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Alexandre Enkerli, Part-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Evergon, Full-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Peter Feder, Part-time Faculty, English
Carolyn Fick, Full-Time Faculty, History
Florence Figols, Part-time Faculty, Contemporary Dance
Jon Paul Fiorentino, Full-time Faculty, English
Angela Ford-Rosenthal, Part-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Debbie Folaron, Full-time Faculty, Études Françaises & Traduction
Andrew Forster, Part-time Faculty, Design Art
Barry Frank, Full-time Faculty, Physics
Ariela Freedman, Full-time Faculty, Liberal Arts College
Jim Freeman, Part-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
Lauren Freeman, Full-time Faculty, Philosophy
Matthias Fritsch, Full-time Faculty, Philosophy
Sadegh Gaderpahah, Part-time Faculty, Engineering and Computer Science
Monika Gagnon, Full-time, Communication Studies
Judy Garfin, Full-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Mike Gasher, Full-time Faculty, Journalism
Pierre Gauthier, Full-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
José Antonio Giménez Micó, Full-time Faculty, Classics, Modern Languages & Linguistics
Maria Graciela Giordano,Full-time Faculty, Classics, Modern Languages & Linguistics
Ian Gold, Professor, Departments of Philosophy and Psychiatry
Kevin Gould, Full-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
Trevor Gould, Full-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Sheena Gourlay, Part-time faculty, Women Studies, Simone de Beauvoir Institute
Judith Grad, Part-time Faculty, Applied Human Sciences
Vince Graziano, Librarian, English and Theatre
Sarah Greig, Part-time Faculty, Design Arts
Eliza Griffiths, Full-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Peter Grogono, Full-time Faculty, Computer Science and Software Engineering
Alex Guindon. Librarian, Geography
Jean-Philippe Gouin, Full-time Faculty, Psychology
Clara Gutsche, Part-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Sonia Hamel, Part-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Cynthia Hammond, Full-time Faculty, Art History
Shaman Hatley, Full-time Faculty, Religion
Hugh Hazelton, Full-time Faculty, Classics, Modern Languages & Linguistics
Matthew Hays, Part-time Faculty, Journalism
Nelson Hendricks, Part-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Shannon Harris, Part time faculty, Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Sandra Hess, Part-time Faculty, Sociology/Anthropology
Donal Hickey, Full-time Faculty, Biology
Nasrin Himada, Part-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
Homa Hoodfar, Full-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Daniela Isac, Full-time Faculty, Classics, Modern Languages & Linguistics
Andrew Ivaska, Full-time Faculty, History
Wilson Jacob, Full-time Faculty, History
Jochen Jaeger, Full-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
Karen Jensen, Librarian, Head, Bilbiographic Access
Elisabeth Johnston, Part-time Faculty, School of Extended Learning
Randolph Jordan, Full-time Faculty, The Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
M. Zahangir Kabir, Full-time Faculty, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Clara Khudaverdian, Part-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Jason Knight, Professor,Studio Arts
Jo-Jo Koo, Full-time Faculty, Philosophy
Jerry Krauel, Part-time Faculty, Education
Anna Kruzynski, Full-time Faculty, School of Community and Public Affairs
Marc Lafrance, Full-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Annie Lalancette, Part-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
PK Langshaw, Full-time Faculty, Design and Computation Arts
Simon Laroche, Part-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Barbara Layne, Professor, Department of Studio Arts
Claire Le Brun, Full-time Faculty, Études françaises
Doina Lecca, Part-time Faculty, TESL/ESL
Mark Lee, Part-time Faculty, Education
Gordon Leonard, Part-time Faculty, Institute for Information Systems Engineering
Patrick Leroux, Full-time Faculty, English & ‘Études françaises
Sharon Leslie Part-time Faculty, Applied Human Sciences
Jenny Lin, part-time faculty, Studio Arts, Concordia University
Warren Linds, Full-time Faculty, Applied Human Sciences
Edward Little, Full-time Faculty, Theatre
Alison Loader, Part-Time Faculty, Design and Computational Art
David Macaulay, Librarian, Concordia University
Krista Lynes, Full-time Faculty, Communication Studies
Jessica MacCormack, Full-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Catherine MacKenzie, Full-time Faculty, Art History
Gada Mahrouse, Full-time Faculty, Simone de Beauvoir Institute
Maria Mamfredis Part-time Faculty, Religion
Erin Manning, Full-time Faculty, Fine Arts & Philosophy
Cynthia Martin, Part-time Faculty, Simone de Beavouir Institute & Political Science
Sheila Mason, Full-time Faculty, Philosophy
Thérèse Mastroiacovo, Part-time Faculty, Design Art
Damon Matthews, Full-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
Kim Matthews, Part-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Rosanna Maule, Full-time Faculty, The Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Dayna McLeod, Part-time Faculty, Communication Studies
Ted McCormick, Full-time Faculty, History
Marguerite Mendell, Full-time Faculty, School of Community and Public Affairs
Elizabeth Miller, Full-time Faculty, Communication Studies
Joel Miller, Part-time Faculty, Theatre
Laurie Millner, Part-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Sushil Misra, Full-time Faculty, Physics
Ingrid Mittmannsgruber, Part-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Mahmood Moghaddam, Part-time Faculty, English
Catherine Moore, Part-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
François Morelli, Full-time Faculty, Studio Art
David Morris, Full-time Faculty, Philosophy
Val Morrison, Part-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Monique Moumblow, Part-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Frank Muller, Full-time Faculty, Economics
Monica Mulrennan, Full-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
Annie Murray, Librarian, Philosophy
Viviane Namaste, Full-time Faculty, Simone de Beauvoir Institute
Françoise Naudillon, Full-time Faculty, Études françaises
Roksana Nazneen, Full-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Donna Nebenzahl, Part-time Faculty, Journalism
Heike Neumann, Full-time Faculty, Education
Ursula Neuerburg-Denzer, Full-time Faculty, Theatre
Mariella Nitoslawska, Full-time Faculty, The Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Lorraine Oades, Part-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Luis Ochoa, Full-time Faculty, Classics, Modern Languages & Linguistics
Chitu Okoli, Full-time Faculty, Decision Sciences and MIS
Olga Ormandjieva, Full-time Faculty, Computer Science and Software Engineering
Luc Otter, Full-time Faculty, The Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Daniel Oxley, Part-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Natalka Patsiurko, Part-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Maria Peluso, Part-time Faculty, Political Science & President of CUPFA
Elaine Pigeon, Part-time Faculty, English
Pragasen Pillay, Professor, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Mike Pinsonneault, Part-time Faculty, Music
Julie Podmore, Part-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
Francine Potvin, Part-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Annie Potter, Part-time Faculty, Education
Everett M. Price, Full-time Faculty, Political Science
Jason Prince, Part-time Faculty, School of Community and Public Affairs
Martin Racine, Full-time Faculty, Department of Design and Computation Arts
Genevieve Rail, Full-time Faculty, Simone de Beauvoir Institute
Chellaiyah Rajalingham, Part-time Faculty, Mechanical Engineering
Goretti Ramírez, Full-time faculty, Classics, Modern Languages and Linguistics
Norma Rantisi, Full-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
Rabin Raut, Full-time Faculty, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Frances Ravensbergen, Part time Faculty, Applied Human Sciences, Extended Learning, & Community and Public Affairs
April Raymonde, Professor, Studio Arts
Elena Razlogova, Full-time Faculty, History
Erwin Regler, Part-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Rosemary Reilly, Full-time Faculty, Applied Human Sciences
Bill Reimer, Full-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Charles Reiss, Full-time Faculty, Linguistics
Shelly Reuter, Full-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Gerardo Reyes, Part-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
Christopher Riddle, Full-time Faculty, Philosophy
June Riley, Part-time Faculty, John Molson School of Business
Peter Rist, Full-time Faculty, The Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Sébastien Robidoux, Full-time Faculty, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Santo Romano, Part-time faculty, Design and Computation Arts
Catherine Russell, Full-time Faculty, The Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Peter Rosner, Part-time Faculty, Education
Ted Rutland, Full-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
Joanabbey Sack, Part-time Faculty, Creative Arts Therapies
Daniel Salée, Full-time Faculty, Community and Public Affairs & Political Science
Louise Samson, Part-time Faculty, Music
Carlos Santana, Part-time Faculty, Mathematics and Statistics
Kim Sawchuk, Full-time Faculty, Communication Studies
Tim Schwab, Full-time Faculty, Communication Studies
Gary Schwartz, Part-time Faculty, Music
Laura Shillington, Part-time Faculty, Geography, Planning & Environment
Mahesh Sharma, Full-time Faculty, John Molson School of Business
Frances Shaver, Full-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Eric Shragge, Full-time Faculty, School of Community and Public Affairs
Geneviève Sicotte, Full-time Faculty, Études françaises
Sherry Simon, Full-time Faculty, Études françaises
Justin Smith, Full-time Faculty, Philosophy
Joseph Snyder, Part-time Faculty, Psychology
Matt Soar, Full-time Faculty, Communication Studies
Reza Soleymani, Full-time Faculty, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Candis Steenbergen, Professor Department of Women’s Studies
Harry Standjofski, Part-time Faculty, Theatre
Marc Steinberg, Full-time Faculty The Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Jeremy Stolow, Full-time Faculty, Communication Studies
Katharine Streip, Full-time Faculty, Liberal Arts College
Mark Sussman, Full-time Faculty, Theatre
Gavin Taylor, Full-time Faculty, History
Sara Terreault, Part-time Faculty, Theological Studies
Francine Tremblay, Part-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Jean Théberge, chargé de cours, Fine Arts / Cinéma
Patrick Traer, Full-time Faculty, Studio Arts
Pouya Valizadeh, Full-time Faculty, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Rachel Van Fossen, Part-time Faculty, Theatre
Peter C. Van Wyck, Professor, Department of Communication Studies
Panagiotis Vasilopoulos, Full-time Faculty, Physics
Roberto Viereck Salinas, Full-Time Faculty, Classics, Modern Languages and Linguistics
Felix von Geyer, Part-time Faculty, Political Science
Theresa Ventura, Full-time Faculty, History
Valérie D. Walker, Part-time Faculty, Fine Arts
Jake Walsh Morrissey, Full-time Faculty, English
Jared Wiercinski, Librarian, Music
Alexander Wilson, Full-time faculty, Studio Arts
Ardath Whynacht, Part-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Ann Woodrow, Part-time Faculty, Sociology & Anthropology
Felice Yuen, Full-time Faculty, Applied Human Sciences
Stéphanie Yvars,
Valter Zazubovits, Full-time Faculty, Physics
Wei-Ping Zhu, Full-time Faculty, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Anya Zilberstein, Full-time Faculty, History

McGill University

Alia Al Saji, Full-tme Faculty, Philosophy
David Avis, Full-time Faculty, Computer Science
Adelle Blackett, Full-time Faculty, Law,
Sebastien Bréau, Full-time Faculty, Geography
Annick Chapdelaine, Full-time Faculty, Langue et littérature françaises
Aziz Choudry, Full-time Faculty, Integrated Studies in Education
Brian Cowan, Full-time, History & Classical Studies, Canada Research Chair in Early Modern British History
Luc Devroye, Full-time Faculty, School of Computer Science
Wes Folkerth, Full-time Faculty, Department of English,
Yuriko Furuhata, Full-time Faculty, East Asian Studies
Jill Hanley, Full-time Faculty, McGill School of Social Work
Michelle Hartman, Full-time Faculty, Institute of Islamic Studies
David C. Hensley, Full-time Faculty, English
Adrienne Hurley, Full-time Faculty, East Asian Studies
Thomas Lamarre, Full-time Faculty, East Asian Studies
Bernhard Lehner, Full-time Faculty, Geography
Abby Lippman, Professor Emerita, Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Anthony Pare, Full-time Faculty, Integrated Studies in Education
William Clare Roberts, a full-time professor, Political Science

HEC Montréal

Omar Aktouf, Professeur titulaire, Service de l’enseignement du management

Université de Sherbrooke

Roxanne Rimstead, Professeur, Lettres et Communications

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profscontrelahausse@gmail.com

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