Last night a number of fourth year veterinary medicine students from AVC visited us at the Atlantic Wildlife Institute. They were a very keen and motivated group, ready to embark on their new careers. This morning, faculty at the University of Prince Edward Island (where AVC is located) went on strike. Many of these students are only weeks away from graduation and some of them feared, with reason, that their final courses may not be credited and that they may not be able to graduate.
A couple of things have struck me since. First, I’m wondering how long the university monopoly can insist on payment of tuition up front, without a requirement for delivery of the service. If students were able to withhold some of their tuition fees until the course is actually completed, then they too would have some leverage in these events. As it stands, they are helpless bystanders. Secondly, I’m thinking about the time when we decide which university may be best for our children. One factor that I had not considered was the state of the collective agreement at any given institution. Knowing that a contract may be renegotiated during one’s period of study may have you reconsider a certain university. I know that I will use this as factor in evaluating universities, especially since our local university has had a few strikes in recent memory.
Does anyone know of a database that shows when university/college collective agreements are up for negotiation? Would it be a relatively simple bit of programming to create a wiki/matrix/DB to which this kind of information could be added? Perhaps this could be an additional service of Rate My Professor.