Covid-19 Enters College but to what Degree?

  • Christopher Willard Alberta University of the Arts
Keywords: Faculty, Covid-19, Policies, Procdures, Collective Agreements, Faculty Union, Crisis Response, Workload, Intellectual Property, Academic Freedom


This article considers the potential long term implications of university emergency responses to Covid-19.  While empathetic responses are important in a time of crisis, emergency measures should not necessarily entail the infringement of or the abandonment of rights articulated in existing policies, procedures, collective agreements, or contracts.  Areas of particular vulnerability include academic freedom, faculty workload, and intellectual property rights.  The author also suggests that crisis responses by higher education may be seen as more of an intensification of neoliberal pressures than as signaling new pressures from the pandemic alone.

Author Biography

Christopher Willard, Alberta University of the Arts

Christopher Willard received his MFA in Painting from Hunter College (CUNY) and his PhD in Artistic Research from the University of Calgary. Willard is a recognized artist and writer. His visual art is included in public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. His most recent published writing includes Ship of Theseus, (poetry) Crisis Chronicle Press, Sundre (novel) Vehicule Press, and Garbage Head (novel) Vehicule Press. His post-studio work includes founding the Invisible Art Collective International. Willard teaches at the Alberta University of the Arts. In his spare time he is an avid road cyclist.


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Special Section on Capitalism, Coronavirus, and Crushing College as We Know It