SAIT Academic Faculty Association

SAFA Update

James McWilliams, SAFA President  2014 – 2018





If you have any questions or concerns please contact:

James McWilliams (SAFA President)


Al Brown (SAFA Labour Relations Officer) 

through the SAFA Office – N201 Senator Burns Building  (403) 284-8321. 


Where does the time go?

Several mornings ago while I was edging along in traffic, partially day dreaming and half listening to the radio, I was snapped out of my daze quite unexpectedly by the flashing lights of a school crosswalk.  Idling there for those few moments, I patiently waited for handful of school kids to finish sallying, quite unconcerned, across the walk. As I sat silently eyeballing these young people I noticed that this group of junior high school kids were all sporting a mixed ensemble of Santa hats. As I mused at these school kids “not a worry in the world”, an attitude I realized, quite despairingly that Christmas was less than two weeks away –OMG.

Of course we all have echoed the same rhetoric several times through this year… where has the time gone? Indeed, where has the time gone? In September we were welcoming students into our programs and shortly thereafter we are preparing for the SAIT 100 year Centennial. An Institutional extravaganza that showcased our Institution on National scale, with Faculty support and recognition from every School being the most predominate. October will always be synonymous with the SAIT Centennial. Thanksgiving, without any remnants of snow, came and went this year without the usual fanfare. However, no sooner have we disposed of the reminders of Thanksgiving, we drag out the all too familiar Halloween paraphernalia. Then spend the next week looking for the “bargain’ candies and get prepared for the inevitable cries of “Trick or Treat” reverberating outside our front doors. November was business as usual, as the Instructional pool began to shift gears, administering those final assignments and projects, increasing the rigor of the curriculum and mentally setting the tone for those final exams in December.

The completion of the first semester is always an anxious time for students and Instructors.  Trying to bring those –less attentive students - up to speed, preparing shops and labs, and occasionally Instructors getting into each other’s space. And as we are patiently agreeing to the last ‘ SIR II’ for the term, whilst trying to discuss the latest  ‘SIR II ‘results with those often elusive Chairs. Nerves get somewhat frayed and the tolerance levels wear thin. Those idiosyncrasies that we shrugged off in September now become our focus to vent at and complain about.

December 22nd will arrive before we can blink an eye, exam week will come and students will depart.  Coffee with colleagues will be inevitable, stress will slowly dissipate, Chairs will be ignored –but with all the joys of Christmas, so let’s be mindful of each other concerns. Family for many of us will become our focus, travel may be on the horizon for some (excuse the pun) and - the weather we will take in our stride. As unfortunate as some of us may think we are… let’s remember those who are less fortunate. January 3rdwill be here soon enough, and as always, we will resume the year with the same vigor and enthusiasm as we are renowned for.

Have a Happy, Safe and Relaxing Christmas break.  

James McWilliams, SAFA President.


April 28, 2016 - Photo with Minister of Advanced Education, Marlin Schmidt

Left to right:  Al Brown, Amir Fard, Tracy Fawcett, Honourable Marlin Schmidt, Candace Van Apeldoorn, James McWilliams

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