and Ontario Colleges - is this grassroot or astroturfing?

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ravenj and Ontario Colleges - is this grassroot or astroturfing?

Apology for starting a separate thread from this one about Ontario Colleges...  Faculty members at Toronto's Seneca College received this email this morning:

"In light of the current labour unrest a group of faculty have created a website that offers an alternate view to that of management and the union. For more information please go to"

The website is urging professors to accept the management offer if the faculty gets to vote on it.  I will like to ask the Internet-savvy Rabble users to find out as much as possible about the creators of this website. I smell a rat here.

The only name listed on website is Tim Abbott, a music professor in Seneca and a member of the college's Broad of Governors.  You can see his students' thoughts on RateMyProfessors.  Here's one of the many opinions from 2005:

"I'd rather commit anal surgery on myself in the woods with a sharpened stick than take another one of his classes."




Le T Le T's picture

Sounds like he's a wanabe manager (who kinda already is). First in line to be a scab. Scum of the earth. Shitty teacher.


He is on the Board of Governors ergo he is management and his background surprise surprise is corporate business. This is the Board trying to bargain directly with its faculty which is wrong wrong wrong.



Tim Abbott, Dip. RTV


Tim Abbott is a professor and program coordinator for the Corporate Media Production program. During his career, Mr. Abbott, has produced corporate events and programming in North America, Europe, Asia and South America. Prior to joining Seneca, he served as the chief designer and technology officer for an Internet based meeting/education product called Dolphin Presenter. Mr. Abbott has owned several media related companies, ranging from a multi-image slide production company to an Internet company specializing in web casting and distance learning software development. Mr. Abbott joined the Board on September 1, 2008 as the faculty representative



The domain registrant is a web development/hosting company. In other words, you can't tell from a whois lookup who's actually behind it.

Howard A. Doughty


In reply to the question: "Who are these guys?" let me say that the "offenders" seem to be a small cabal in the School of Communication Arts at [email protected]. They are heart-sick about the poor students, upset with a union that's holding the kids hostage and only trying to have a reasonable discussion.

Of course, when I used the term "management toady" in a note I sent to the website, it was rejected and I was threatened with a law suit for libel - an odd suggestion since the post was not made public.

These people may just need an introductory course in management-labour relations, or they may know quite enough and are simply embarrassed. Perhaps they are ashamed that they teach in a college. Perhaps they are humiliated to belong to a "union." They certainly seem to have a puffed-up sense of their own "professionalism," without possessing the wit or the will to fight for actual professional status - i.e., the right to control entry (hiring), set standards, exerise discipline, establish fee scales and control exit (firing). Doctors and lawyers and accountants and architects and so on are professionals; teachers from junior kindergarten to post-graduate studies are not. Perhaps these people prefer the illusion. Perhaps they have difficulty explaining to their friends how they are being forced to walk a picket line. "The horror! The horror! Now, please pass the martinis."

The REAL problem, of course, is the business model established by the colleges and the corporatist ideology that sustains it. This is exacerbated by the fact that college faculty are now about 55% or more "part-time" workers. Seneca has gone so far as to put a freeze on all future full-time faculty hiring. The part-time teachers, of course, have no rights, no job security and will have no opportunity to participate in this process until they win their first contract; meanwhile, they are understandably anxious and easy prey for the corporatist mentality being ladelled on them. In the process, the college is fast-becoming a setting for permanent part-time employment - teachers as "temps."

Absent a commitment to a genuine collegial model (which ain't gonna happen), the "professionalists" will whine, mewl and puke. Every generation commits treason anew. This is their time.