Join YUGSA in our governance campaigns in partnership with York’s Cross-Campus Alliance (CCA)! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
Universities are entering into donor agreements and deals with corporations that can heavily determine what universities will teach and research. This corporate influence can result in academic programs and research projects that do not promise short-term commercial profits being marginalized.
Not only are corporations fostering a closer relationship with universities, these public institutions are operating as if they are private. External stakeholders now outnumber faculty, staff and students on most Board of Governors – the highest governing body of a university.
This composition, and an overall restructuring of academic governance means that faculty, students and staff are either superficially consulted or actively excluded in decision-making.
When universities operate as if they are private, it is easier to justify replacing public funding with a user-pay approach to financing education. This results in the downloading of costs onto students through tuition fees. In the last two decades, tuition fees have increased by 238%, far above rates of inflation.
In 2014, average tuition fees for graduate students increased to $6,432, with some professional programs charging as high as $60,000 a year. At the time of graduation, master students owe an average of $26,000 in student loans while doctoral graduates owe an average of $41,000.
YUGSA is working together with the Cross-Campus Alliance (CCA) to address corporatization and governance issues at York. The CCA is composed of Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 1356 (CUPE 1356), Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3903 (CUPE 3903), York Federation of Students (YFS), York University Faculty Association (YUFA), York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA), and York University Staff Association (YUSA).
Through a shared governance campaign with the CCA, we will:
- Address the need for open, transparent and democratic hires for Dean and other senior administrators;
- Challenge top-down academic planning procedures and advocate for collegial governance and empowerment; and,
- Hold the Board of Governors accountable, more specifically through their mandate that the board must serve the needs and interests of the university and the public community.