SMA3 Town Hall

SMA3 Town Hall

On Monday, February 10th MUFA hosted a SMA3 Town Hall with special guests President David Farrar, Acting Provost Susan Searls-Giroux, Associate Vice-President Linda Coslovi, and Acting Vice-President Research Karen Mossman.

The Ontario government is moving to a system which ties funding to our performance on specific metrics, and away from a funding model that was primarily based on the number of students. Many people joined us for an information session about the new model, the metrics and implementation, and what impact these changes could have on the look-and-feel of the university.

If you were unable to attend the session in person, you can now access the presentation online.

New Tuition Bursary Process

New Tuition Bursary Process

The new external tuition bursary process is now live. Please see the these documents from HR for details. The summary is that there is a two-stage process: you must submit an application by *MARCH 30, 2020* and then final receipts by September 30, 2020. If you miss the March deadline, you will not be eligible for the benefit for the 2019/20 academic year.

The submission happens through Mosaic (Employee Self Serve –> External Tuition Bursary Form –> a specific Microsoft Form with additional login) and at this stage, requires proof of registration of your dependent/spouse in a university or college program. Proof of payment and payment information will be requested later.

If you have any questions, please contact

MUFA ad-hoc Committee on Student Evaluation of Teaching Report

MUFA ad-hoc Committee on Student Evaluation of Teaching Report

In 2019 the McMaster University Faculty Association created a committee to perform a student evaluation of teaching. The committee, comprised of faculty and students (undergraduates and graduates) met in the first months of 2019, circulated a draft report early spring, sought feedback from various groups on campus and published a final version in December.

This exercise provided important feedback from faculty and students on the evaluations used to assess teaching and learning outcomes at McMaster University and suggested to replace the current quantitative questionnaire by three tools to assess the learning experience of students: a formative tool to be used during the term (preferably mid-term), known as “stop-start-continue”, a summative tool, based on focus groups, collecting qualitative comments through a collective discussion at the end of the course, and reflexive tool, based on a survey questionnaire addressed to graduates to collect information at the program level.

We are now seeking feedback on these recommendations through a series of town hall meetings, to take place this month (January 21 and 29). Please see the information at the following link:

External Tuition Bursary for dependents & spouses of MUFA members, effective July 1, 2019

External Tuition Bursary for dependents & spouses of MUFA members, effective July 1, 2019

The Joint Administration/Faculty Association Committee Remuneration Agreement of March 13, 2019 included the creation of a fund to be used to reimburse tuition payments for dependents & spouses of MUFA members. MUFA has been working with Human Resources to formalize the administration of this pool. We expect the details to be finalized shortly after July 1, and therefore would like to provide the following information to our members at this time:

  • This is a tuition reimbursement program. Payments will be made once a year for the previous academic year. Payments from the fund for the 2019/20 academic year will likely be made in late 2020. Eligible tuition paid on or after July 1, 2019 will be included in the 2019/20 payment.
  • Documents such as receipts for tuition payment or the student’s university/college statement of account will be required. The due date for such documents for the 2019/20 academic year will likely be in Fall 2020.
  • There will be a maximum cap on the amount of tuition that can be reimbursed to an individual student in an academic year, likely $2000. The amount that will be reimbursed to each student will depend on how many applications are received, and could be less than the maximum cap.
  • Eligible tuition payments will likely include: university courses taken for credit leading to an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited Canadian university other than McMaster, and courses in a formal program of study leading to a degree or diploma at an accredited Canadian community college.
  • Many of the other eligibility requirements will follow those of the internal McMaster tuition bursary program where relevant.

MUFA and Human Resources apologize for the delay in finalizing the administration of this fund, and will provide full details of the process as soon as possible.

MUFA Award for Outstanding Service Winners

MUFA Award Winners

MUFA Award for Outstanding Service Winners

Following the Annual General Meeting, a special reception was held in honour of the recipients of the MUFA Award for Outstanding Service.  The award was presented to Catherine Anderson and Ellen Amster in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the University.  The selection committee, chaired by the Past-President Laura Parker, included Michelle Dion (Associate Professor, Political Science), Sarah Robinson (TMG) Denise Smith (MUALA), Stephanie Bertolo (VP Education, MSU) and Beth Couchman (Unifor). Michel Grignon read the following citations on behalf of the selection committee.

Dr. Catherine Anderson is this year’s recipient of the MUFA Award for Outstanding Service. Reviewing her dossier, the Selection Committee was unanimous in its endorsement. Catherine, a Teaching Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Languages, has established an impressive record of service at McMaster and shows a genuine commitment to her peers and students.

Catherine is known for her creative and innovative approach to teaching and curriculum development as well as her willingness to serve her department, Faculty and the University in countless ways. The committee was particularly  impressed with Catherine’s commitment to education through the development of a free, open access textbook. This text is accessible for free to students at McMaster and beyond, as well as to anyone interested in learning about the science of language. In March 2018, Catherine’s teaching innovations were recognized with the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance Teaching Award.

Catherine is also an active researcher and has made significant contributions to graduate education in linguistics serving on many graduate thesis committees. As one of nominators noted: “Dr. Anderson’s broadness of expertise is one of the pillars that the department’s undergraduate, and later graduate, programs in Cognitive Science of Language could be built on.” Catherine is also known for her sincere and deep commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion at McMaster and she is a frequent mentor to students and colleagues.

Beyond her impressive contributions to education Catherine is an active member of the McMaster community, serving on numerous committees within the Faculty of Humanities as well as on the University Senate and various Senate committees, including the Senate Executive. No consideration of Catherine’s commitment to service would be complete without an acknowledgement of her years of dedicated service on behalf of MUFA. Catherine has been an active member of the executive for two separate terms, and is currently our Grievances & Special Enquiries officer. Given Catherine’s commitment to fairness there is no one better suited to this role.  On behalf of the 2019 MUFA Service Award Committee, it is a great honour to present this award to Catherine Anderson in recognition of her distinguished record of service to the University.

Dr. Ellen Amster is this year’s recipient of the MUFA Award for Outstanding Service. Reviewing her dossier, the Selection Committee was unanimous in its endorsement. Ellen has gone beyond expectations in her role as the Jason A. Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine and is building bridges between the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Health Sciences. Through her teaching, research, and service activities, Ellen has enhanced the reputation of McMaster and made significant impacts on our campus and beyond.

Ellen is known for having created a History of Medicine and Medical Humanities web portal for students, which brings together many resources from libraries, archives and museum collections around the world, as well as practical information on grants and scholarship. In just a few short years this comprehensive resource has become widely used and enables students to explore the medical humanities, especially the history of medicine. 

The Selection Committee was impressed by Ellen’s development of a field course on Maternal and Infant Health in Morocco. This course gave students a culturally-contextualized education experience and led to a follow-up research meeting benefiting many researchers. Ellen’s commitment to diversity was clear to the committee, particularly through the topics covered in the lecture series she organizes as well as a new course developed for the Bachelor of Health Sciences and the Arts & Science Programs.

Collectively, these activities contribute to McMaster’s research mission and international reputation. Ellen “enriches the McMaster community, and exemplifies the contributions the MUFA Outstanding Service Award is intended to recognize.” On behalf of the 2019 MUFA Service Award Committee, it is a great honour to present this award to Ellen Amster in recognition of her distinguished record of service to the University.

MUFA AGM – 23 April 2019

MUFA Annual General Meeting

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019
3:00 p.m.
Great Hall
The University Club

The Annual General Meeting of the McMaster University Faculty Association will be held on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019 in the Great Hall of the University Club.

You can obtain the meeting package by clicking here.

Remuneration Agreement – July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2022

Remuneration Agreement
July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2022

The voting results for the Remuneration Agreement questions are as follows:

I hereby approve the Remuneration Agreement for the period of July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022 reached in the Joint Administration/Faculty Association Committee on March 13, 2019.

Option:                                  Votes:
YES                                           521
NO                                             17
Total:                                       538

For those interested, you may review the certified results from Simply Voting.

The details of the agreement can be found in the Joint Committee Agreement.

MUFA Award for Outstanding Service – Call for Nominations

MUFA Award for Outstanding Service

MUFA Award for Outstanding Service – Call for Nominations


The purpose of the MUFA Award for Outstanding Service is to provide annual recognition1 for faculty and professional librarians who have made an outstanding contribution to the mission of the University through the provision of exceptional service to faculty, librarians, staff and/or students.


Each year there will be a maximum of three awards in the amount of $1,500.


The Awards are open to all Full Members of the McMaster University Faculty Association (MUFA)2.


1. The MUFA Executive will appoint a selection committee to be drawn from amongst the categories of faculty, librarians, staff and students (undergraduate and graduate).                                                                                   

  • The Committee shall be comprised of no less than four, and no more than seven members, including the Chair.
  • The MUFA Past President normally serves as Chair and is not counted as the faculty representative.
  • The Secretary to the Committee will be the MUFA Executive Director.
  • A quorum for a Committee meeting shall be four members in attendance, including the Chair

2. Nominations

  • There will be a call for nominations through the University and MUFA electronic distribution lists, in the MUFA Newsletter, and on the MUFA webpage.
  • Nominations must be emailed to MUFA (Hamilton Hall, Room 103A or emailed ( no later than FEBRUARY 25, 2019
  • The nomination must include a summary of  not more than 750 words highlighting the candidate’s accomplishments.
  • Each nomination must be supported by a minimum of two and not more than four reference letters. The reference letters must be emailed or mailed to MUFA, either through the nominator or directly from the reference. Reference letters should not exceed 500 words.
  • The position and contact information for the nominator and all references must be clearly indicated.

3. The Committee will review the nominations and will make the final decision regarding the selection of the award recipients. Some of the factors considered by the Committee will include:

  • Enhancement of the reputation of McMaster University
  • Provision of excellent service
  • Demonstrated innovation
  • Breadth and depth of impact
  • The ability to establish and maintain effective and harmonious working relationships
  • Evident acceptance of diversity and inclusivity at McMaster
  • Strength and diversity of supporting references

4.  The faculty/librarians selected to receive the awards will be invited to attend a special reception normally held in conjunction with the MUFA Annual General Meeting and will be presented with their awards at that time.  Pictures of the individual recipients and a brief summary of the rationale for their awards will be published in the MUFA Newsletter and on the MUFA webpage.

5. Each eligible faculty/librarian who was nominated for an award will receive a letter of commendation from the MUFA President.


1MUFA faculty/librarians are not eligible for the President’s Awards for Outstanding Service, awarded by the President of McMaster University

2Those holding academic administrative appointments with the rank of Assistant Dean or higher in the current academic year are not eligible for the Award.