Introducing WUFA’s Executive Committee  (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2018)  Banner Image

Introducing WUFA’s Executive Committee (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2018)

Photo above, starting from back row, top left: Stephen Pender (VP Internal), Holger Eichhorn (Director-at-large), Jamey Essex (VP External), Brian E. Brown (Director-at-large), Debbie Noble (WUFA Administrative Officer), Anne Forrest (Past President), Walter Kedzierski (Treasurer), Fran Cachon (Sessional Director), Kathryn Lafreniere (Contract Chair), Jeff Noonan (President), Vicki Jay-Leung (VP SWDE), Peter Zimmerman (VP Grievance). Missing from photo: David Cotter, Associate Member (WURA rep). Photo taken in front of the WUFA Office, Kerr House, 366 Sunset Ave.

October 4, 2016

WUFA’s Executive Committee is made up of elected Chief Officers of the Association who act on behalf of WUFA, subject to the direction of the WUFA Faculty Council and the general membership.  The main function of the Executive is to implement the general policies of the Association and act as a daily liaison between the Association and other persons/organizations.

WUFA extends a warm welcome to its newest Executive Committee whose term began on July 1, 2016. Below, members of Executive share with us interesting facts, thoughts, and insights about themselves. We hope you enjoy getting to know your Executive Committee of 2016-2018.

Jeff Noonan, WUFA President
Department of Philosophy

Q: What motivates you to serve on WUFA’s Executive Committee?
A: Three main reasons. First, the rights that allow us to work freely as academics are largely creatures of our collective agreement, and our collective agreement is the living historical achievement of generations of colleagues who have worked in WUFA in various capacities.  I decided to run for President because I wanted to contribute to the protection and extension of those rights which have allowed me, as an individual, to enjoy a successful and productive career and which have carved out for academics, as a collective, a privileged space from which to study, criticise, and transform society without fear of reprisal.   Second, working in WUFA gives me an opportunity to put into practice at least some of, (to some extent), the principles that I have tried to work out and defend in my work in social and political philosophy.  Third, it is a joy to work with, get to know, and learn from other talented, engaged, and committed colleagues in WUFA.    

Q: How would you characterize your personality?
A: Softer than I encourage people to think.  I do not find myself terribly interesting, but I dabble in many things, some cultured and sophisticated, others, not.     

Q: What are your personal goals for the upcoming academic year (2016-2017)?
A: Academically I would like a book project that I have been working on for the past three years to come to completion; politically I hope to help energise the membership in the lead up to successful collective bargaining in 2017.

Q: What other information would you like to share with your colleagues?
A: I am happier cooking than doing philosophy.

Peter Zimmerman, VP Grievance
Leddy Library

Peter is an Information Services Librarian in the Leddy Library. He came to the University of Windsor in 2001, and has recently completed 10 years as head of the Information Services department. He has been an active member of the Association, serving in a number of different capacities prior to becoming VP Grievance in 2014.






Stephen Pender, VP Internal
Department of English Language, Literature & Creative Writing

Stephen Pender is a minor artist of the late twentieth century.







Jamey Essex, VP External
Department of Political Science

Q: What motivates you to serve on WUFA’s Executive Committee?
A: After the last several years of serving on Council, the Negotiating Team, and the Contract Committee, I felt my time, energy, and insight would be well spent with a term on the WUFA Executive. I ran for the VP External position because of my experience in WUFA governance and familiarity with trends in the university sector in Ontario, across Canada, and beyond. I am one of WUFA’s two trustees for the CAUT Defence Fund, have attended OCUFA committee meetings and workshops, and, when previously on the WUFA Executive from 2009 to 2011, attended numerous meetings of the Windsor and District Labour Council. I am excited to represent WUFA to the broader community of faculty associations and the labour movement.

Q: How would you characterize your personality?
A: Students have told me that I am both "very blunt" and that I "take the scenic route to get to a point." I think both are probably true in equal measure.


Vicki Jay Leung, VP Status of Women, Diversity and Equity
Law Library

Q: What motivates you to serve on WUFA’s Executive Committee?
A: I first joined WUFA as a member of SWDEAC (Status of Women, Diversity, Equity and Action Committee) in 2009, shortly after being hired on as a Reference Librarian at the University of Windsor's Law Library. It was at the suggestion of a colleague, as a way to get involved with the Association. My motivation to get involved in WUFA stems from what WUFA stands for: not only representing the interests of a few in the association, but ensuring that there is fairness, equity, and understanding between all parties on campus and in the greater community. Since my start at SWDEAC, I have been a sub-committee member of the Mary Lou Dietz Equity Leadership Award, then chair of the said sub-committee. I have also been a library rep on WUFA Council, a grievance officer, and member of the Nominating Committee; and am currently the VP SWDE/Chair of SWDEAC, and a member of the Contract Committee. I was motivated to take on these roles within WUFA because I saw a need and was willing to serve.

Q: What other information would you like to share with your colleagues?
A: I think the most important role of WUFA is to be the collective voice of its members, with a united voice our message (be it to administration, to our students or community in general) will hopefully be heard, and thus be taken seriously in matters that are relevant to the education sector, our professions, and shared interests.

Walter Kedzierski, Secretary/Treasurer
Department of Physics

Dr. Wladyslaw (Walter) Kedzierski has been WUFA’s Treasurer since 2008.    He was drawn to the Treasurer’s position because he enjoys number crunching and is interested in stock market activities and trends.

Dr. Kedzierski is an Associate Professor in Physics, where he teaches 1st year Physics, 3rd year Classical Mechanics, and 4th year Design & Application of Lasers.





Kathryn Lafreniere, Contract Chair
Department of Psychology

Q: What motivates you to serve on WUFA’s Executive Committee?
A: I was previously a member of the Contract Committee, and that gave me some sense of the responsibilities of members of the Executive Committee. My experience on the Contract Committee during the last round made me aware of the challenges that we are likely to face as we approach the next round of bargaining, and I'm committed to working as hard as I can to address them in my role as Contract Chair. Involvement on the Executive Committee is hard work and can be time-consuming, but I believe that it's important for diverse members to get involved, because we all have a stake in influencing our workplace conditions. I am also concerned that we are sometimes too complacent and accepting of decisions that come from above, and the Executive Committee provides a means to push for a greater voice in university matters.

Q: What are your personal goals for the upcoming academic year (2016-2017)?
A: I have a number of goals for my own research and teaching in Psychology, but the primary focus for the upcoming year will be on getting ready for collective bargaining.  We are initiating some changes in how we approach the process, with a greater and more dynamic role for the Contract Committee throughout bargaining, and I'm very excited to get going on this.

Holger Eichhorn, Director at large
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Q: Why did you decide to serve on WUFA's Executive Committee?
A: WUFA was looking for representatives from Science in 2015 and I felt I should get more involved after successfully avoiding it for 14 years.  I strongly believe an active and well supported faculty association is essential for keeping faculty in touch with ongoing changes to our university and for significantly influencing decision making at all levels of university administration.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your term on Executive Committee? 
A: My objective for the 2-year term is to develop a process that regularly updates department heads and AAU councils in the Faculty of Science on important matters WUFA is concerned with and to report back to council and executive opinions and concerns voiced within the faculty. My present area of focus at WUFA is research and creative activity related matters.


Brian E. Brown, Director at large
School of Creative Arts

Q: What motivates you to serve on Executive Committee?
A: Relationships motivate me to serve on the Executive Committee.  I am a firm believer in relationship building through listening and discussion. There is never just two points of view between two individuals or groups, but several views all working in tandem.  Working toward an acceptable resolution, whether it is a WUFA member to member issue, discussions with the administration, students or the other campus unions, potential problems become the challenges that I do not shy away from while attempting to achieve meaningful resolutions. The WUFA Executive and Council encounter these challenges daily and hopefully with my years of experience I can assist with satisfactory resolutions throughout my term. The fall semester for WUFA means the Contract Committee formalizes proposals for collective bargaining which will be approved by the membership and passed on to our Negotiating Team for contract talks in the spring of 2017. I look forward to working with the other members of the Executive, Council and the membership during these challenging times for WUFA. 

Q: What other information would you like to share with your colleagues?
A: The university sector in Ontario also has many challenges, university funding and governance, faculty complement and precarious working conditions for Contract Academic Staff and university pension plans. As Chair of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Board, I will continue to work with the Directors and to lobby the provincial government on the issues facing Ontario universities today and in the future on your behalf.

Anne Forrest, Past President
Department of Women’s & Gender Studies

Anne Forrest served as the President of WUFA from July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2016.  She is currently the Director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program.








Fran Cachon, Sessional Director
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Q: What motivates you to serve on WUFA’s Executive Committee?
A: I see WUFA as an important and meaningful voice of university governance. My involvement in our association is motivated by a desire to address the many pressing issues facing the contemporary university (i.e. equity, funding/access, intellectual property right, academic freedom). I was recently nominated as WUFA’s Sessional Director, in this role I will seek to address the systemic reliance on contract appointments (i.e. contract and limited-term). Specifically, I aim to promote the important scholarly contributions of contract faculty, raise awareness of the impacts of precarious academic employment, and hopefully foster a more equitable and inclusive academic culture—a culture that values and supports the notion that all academic jobs should be good jobs (I.e. secure, predictable, fairly compensated, institutionally visible and supported).

Q: How would you characterize your personality?
A: I’m passionate about social justice—my disciplinary roots in sociology instilled a deep sense of political engagement and public intellectualism. For me, sociology, at its best, is difficult public conversations about things that matter. I strive to be a socially engaged academic and to cultivate a transformative educational experience for my students.