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Rahul Sapra appointed OCUFA’s 33rd president

Hundreds gather in Toronto for 2019 Worldviews Conference

Rahul Sapra appointed OCUFA’s 33rd president

TORONTO – The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) is pleased to announce the appointment of its 33rd president – Rahul Sapra, Associate Professor of English in the Faculty of Arts at Ryerson University. Sapra officially began his two-year term on July 1, 2019.

“OCUFA is a dynamic organization that collaboratively works with faculty and academic librarians across Ontario to advocate for their rights and promote excellence in higher education,” said Sapra. “I am honoured to lead OCUFA as we continue to strive for a better postsecondary education system in Ontario.”

Sapra was the Vice-President of OCUFA from 2017-19 and Vice-President (External) of the Ryerson Faculty Association (RFA) from 2014-2018, where he served on several RFA committees. Before joining Ryerson, Sapra worked as a tenured Lecturer at S.G.T.B Khalsa College, University of Delhi. He received his PhD from Queen’s University, Ontario. Sapra’s research focuses on European Renaissance literatures, Postcolonial studies, and world cinema.

OCUFA would also like to extend its sincere gratitude to outgoing President Gyllian Phillips, who served the organization as a principled and distinguished leader since her appointment in 2017.

“Gyllian has been an inspirational leader who successfully guided OCUFA through two years of significant transition that witnessed repeated political attacks on faculty and the integrity of Ontario’s postsecondary education system,” Sapra said. “The fight is not over, and I hope to follow in her footsteps as we continue to take on these challenges. A big thanks to Gyllian for her incredible work!”

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 30 faculty associations across Ontario. For more information, please visit www.ocufa.on.ca.

Hundreds gather in Toronto for 2019 Worldviews Conference

The 2019 Worldviews on Media and Higher Education Conference brought together hundreds of academics, students, higher education leaders, communications professionals, and journalists from around the globe to explore the conference’s theme: Democracy at risk? Reflecting on the future of higher education and media in a “post-truth” world.

Proceedings kicked off with a special screening of the documentary The Corporate Coup D’etat followed by a panel discussion moderated by Rick Salutin, and featuring Maude Barlow, John Ralston Saul, and David Altheide.

Over the next two days, a series of keynote talks, panel discussions, interviews, and interactive exhibits examined democracy and the changing power relations of higher education and the media in the global north and south – specifically the concept of expertise in a “post-truth” world and the types of voices amplified by emerging technologies.

The conference included 26 fascinating sessions focused around four major themes: - Communicating in a “post-truth” world - Technological change in higher education and the media: Impact, implications and future directions - Democratization and the recognition of multiple voices in media and higher education - Directions in media and higher education collaboration now and in the future.

The conference featured over 70 speakers showcasing an inspiring mixture of experiences, insights, and opinions. They included:

  • Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians
  • Michael Ignatieff, President and Rector of the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary
  • Nermeen Shaikh, Co-Host and News Producer at Democracy Now! and author of The Present as History: Critical Perspectives on Global Power
  • Maria Ressa, CEO and Executive Editor of Rappler.com and former CNN Bureau Chief in Manilla, Philippines
  • Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia and author of Anti-Social Media
  • Sophia Rosenfeld, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Truth and Democracy
  • Tom Nichols, Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College and author of The Death of Expertise
  • Nana aba Duncan, Host of CBC’s Fresh Air and Media Girlfriends podcast
  • Cam Gordon, Head of Communications at Twitter Canada
  • Shree Paradkar, Race and Gender Columnist at the Toronto Star
  • Janice Stein, Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management at the University of Toronto

Throughout the conference, participants discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by the democratization of higher education and the media, engaged in a lively exchange of ideas both in and outside of sessions, and met new colleagues with whom they could explore innovative possibilities for future partnerships.

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