Some News from CAST

Hello, friends. Since our last update there’ve been a few notable developments that we wanted to share with you, so here goes.

In the selection process for the a new chair, the committee asked us to share the following information with our members:

In accordance with University regulations, I am writing on behalf of Dr. Haidee Wasson, Chair of the Search Committee, to inform you that the Advisory Search Committee for Academic Unit Heads (ASCAH) for the Department of Theatre has received a nomination for Professor Raymond Marius Boucher.

The Committee is now seeking input from the members of the Department (full-time and part-time faculty, staff and students) regarding this nomination. Please send any written comments you may have to Dr. Wasson, either by hard copy (Dean’s Office EV-2-781 or fax 514-848-4599) or by email (Haidee.Wasson@concordia.ca). Anonymous comments will not be considered by the Committee.

All comments should reach Dr. Wasson no later than 4:30 pm on Friday, March 15, 2013.

Warmest Regards,

Donna Caputo
Coordinator – Research Administration
Faculty of Fine Arts
Ext. 4601 EV 2-738

At a TPER area meeting on Monday, all students were invited to offer feedback on their class sizes to the department. Do any of your classes feel too small, or too big? Let a full-time faculty member know. (These are our full-time faculty members.)

Speaking of full-time faculty and the potential for strike action on their part: as reported by the Montréal Gazette, CUFA (the union representing Concordia’s full-time faculty members and librarians) has voted 74% in favour of a strike mandate. This gives them the option of going on strike with 48 hours notice if their negotiations with Concordia’s administration break down. To be clear, there is no guarantee that this mandate will lead to a strike, but it does give CUFA a stronger position in their negotiations with the administration. For further details, see our FAQ.

CAST’s petition has led to the Dean of Fine Arts, Catherine Wild, inviting CAST’s executive (Miriam, Lindsey and Ned) to meet with her and Associate Dean Mark Sussman on Wednesday morning. We will be sure to share the results of this meeting with the Concordia theatre community as soon as possible. Theatre faculty are meeting Wednesday and Thursday to address the impact of the cuts as well. As soon as our faculty know exactly what decisions have been made with respect to summer courses, and course changes in general—and these changes have been confirmed with the Dean’s office—an email will be sent to all theatre students directly from the department.

Also, I (Ned) made a mistake in my reporting on the Faculty of Fine Arts Council meeting. I misheard Dean Wild and thought that the 15% to 20% being cut from the Faculty of Fine Arts was coming from the faculty’s entire budget, and not—as is the case—from the $3.9 million non-salary and non-permanent budget. This means that maximum amount cut according to the administration’s current plans will be $780,000—hardly insignificant, but not the $3–$5 million we had initially thought. Our summer courses are still very much at risk, and the impact of these cuts will still very much be felt, but I (and we) felt it important to correct the record (and have done so on both our FAQ and the original report).

Lastly, the Link invited me (Ned) to write an opinion piece on the impact of the cuts for this week’s issue. It does not necessarily represent the views of CAST but hopefully will give the wider Concordia community some insight into the challenges theatre will face as a result of the budget cuts. You can read it on the Link‘s website here, and it will be in the print edition this week. (I would like to state, for the record, that I did not choose the title.)

Good night, and good luck.