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If you’ve received this newsletter, you’re a member of the OCAD Faculty Association. Whether you’re full-time or part-time, temporary or permanent, teaching assistant, technician, instructor or program chair, OCADFA is the union that represents you in bargaining and in the complaints process.

We are excited to share this first newsletter with our members. Once a semester we will be reaching out to bring you useful information, share upcoming events, and profile faculty members as a way for all of us to get to know each other better. We invite you to contribute by sending us feedback, news, or article ideas at

In this issue we will start with an introduction to OCADFA Board of Directors: who we are, what we do, and how to get in touch with us.

Christopher Bennell

Technician, IT

Christopher Bennell is a freelance web developer. He has worked with the Black Star Collection, the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Collection and the Contemporary Zoological Conservatory. Christopher is Secretary-Treasurer for OCADFA. Contact:

Frederick Burbach

Associate Professor, Graphic Design

Frederick Burbach is a graphic designer with a specialization in typography and brand development. He is vice president of OCADFA and the chair of the Pension Committee. Contact:

Bill Leeming

Associate Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies

Bill has been Chair of Negotiations for OCADFA since 2003. His research has included technology adoption in medicine, biosociality, biological citizenship, and post-national citizenship. Contact:

Bogdan Luca

Sessional Instructor, Faculty of Art

Bogdan Luca is an artist fascinated by the ecology of images that surround us at all times. He is a director at-large and a member of the OCADFA Negotiations Committee. Contact:

Kathleen Morris

Teaching Intensive Stream, Faculty of Design

Kathleen is a textile artist and researcher with a concentration in craft practice and pedagogy. She is the OCADFA Grievance Chair and co-chair of the pay equity audit committee. Contact:

Charles Reeve

Associate Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Charles has been published widely in the fields of modern and contemporary art, with a special emphasis on artists’ autobiographies. He is the president of OCADFA, and president of the Universities Art Association of Canada. Contact:

Amy Swartz

Teaching Intensive Stream, Faculty of Art

Amy Swartz is a cross disciplinary artist who explores obsession regarding our control over nature, life, and death. She is an OCADFA Director, an OCAD U Senator, and on the Curriculum & Innovation Committee of Faculty. Contact:

Eric Steenbergen

Technician, Printmaking Studios

Eric's practice is primarily focused in Intaglio, Photogravure and Letterpress. He is an OCADFA director and a member of the Joint Health and Safety Committee and the Negotiations Committee. Contact:

Fatimah Tuggar

Assistant Professor of Contemporary Issues of Representation, Tenure Track Faculty of Art & Grad Studies

Fatimah Tuggar is a multidisciplinary artist who explores how technology diversely impacts realities. She is a director at-large and OCADFA representative on the Sexual Violence Working Group. Contact:

What's New

Fair Employment Week

October 24-28 was Fair Employment Week at OCAD U. OCADFA drew attention to the state of precarious academic employment in our university:
  • 73% of OCAD U faculty are are hired on part-time or short-term contracts; the provincial average is 33%
  • 44% of courses are taught by permanent faculty
  • 37% of tenured faculty are over the age of 60
  • the studio teaching load is 40% higher than other universities
How does OCAD rank compared to other universities?
  • salaries are 20% lower than national averages
  • OCAD U salaries are lowest of the 22 universities in Ontario
  • there are 100-300% more students in some classes than recommended by the National Association for Schools of Art & Design

OCADFA stands with our colleagues across the country in opposing the casualization of academic work, and advocating for fair and equitable employment for all faculty members. Let's make it fair! You can sign a pledge of solidarity at the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) and contact OCADFA President Charles Reeve to get involved in Fair Employment Week 2017.

Bargaining Update

Our chief negotiator, Bill Leeming has prepared an update on our difficult negotiations with the administration. Read it here.

Member Profiles

Surendra Lawoti

Sessional Instructor, Faculty of Art

Surendra Lawoti is a photographer interested in human circumstances and their recognition. He is preparing to publish his first monograph "This Country is Yours" in Fall 2017.

"The best part of my job is engaging with students. Students keeps me engaged, energized and inspired. Like art practice, teaching is also always evolving and needs constant refining. Teaching and art making are in many ways similar and they go well together. In the process of teaching, I learn so much.

One thing, I would like to see improve is the scheduling of teaching assignments. It is hard to teach when you are notified of your teaching schedule two or three weeks before the class starts. I am not even going to mention how it affects my life, my art practice and the life of my family members. We seriously need to get our shit together on this so that we have time to prepare for our classes."

Robin Tieu

Technician and Sessional Instructor, Faculty of Design

Robin is a ceramic artist who sold her soul to OCAD U and now with great efforts, continues her practice making utilitarian and sculptural objects in the summer months.

"I love that I am able to share my passion for ceramics to eager students from all disciplines at OCAD U. Only elective courses are offered in ceramics, and clay as a medium is truly challenging. This makes my job even more satisfying when students get excited and make good work even without the extended knowledge that schools with ceramic programs offer.

What I would like to see improve is concrete support of studio based learning. Working in a studio that has experienced many cuts over the years, we are constantly working over our maximum capacity. There is much excitement from the students, and yet many are turned away due to lack of space and support."

News You Can Use

Workplace Bullying Video

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Universities Art Association of Canada Conference

Be a part of UAAC's 50th Anniversary Conference, on from October 12 to 15.

York Osgoode Residency

Apply to Osgoode’s Artist in Residency Program and explore representations of justice and legal education ($25,000 for the fellowship, $5,000 in disbursements; an office and full access to academic resources).

Uncertain Futures

Uncertain Futures is an interdisciplinary conference hosted by OCAD University and the Canadian Association for American Studies from October 27 to 29.
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