- BA / 80
Pat Finn has been described as “believing in Carleton with a dedication and loyalty bordering on the fierce”. Serving as executive director of the Carleton University Academic Staff Association (CUASA) from 1976 until her retirement in November 2009, Finn is associated with many of the principles that make the university unique and progressive. Driven by common sense and a tremendous sense of social justice for all, Finn led CUASA in negotiating many benefits that are now taken for granted, including maternity leave and retirement benefits.
Finn started her career without a university degree, obtaining her undergraduate degree in law from Carleton and earning a master’s in law to further her work with CUASA. Internationally she is known for her role in developing the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation on the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel (1997) and for helping colleagues at the University of Ghana to develop a faculty association and the concomitant structures to protect academic freedom. Nationally, she was instrumental in founding the Canadian Organization of Faculty Association Staff.
For her belief in the things that matter to a university—academic excellence, integrity and intellectual courage—and her tireless pursuit to achieve them, Finn was given the 2009 Founders Award, Carleton’s highest non-academic honour.
In October 2009 the Ontario Confederation of University Staff Associations chose Finn from nominations across the province to receive the inaugural Lorimer Award (named in honour of Professors Doug and Joyce Lorimer at Wilfrid Laurier University). The award was “In recognition of the dedication and leadership [she has] shown in advancing academic staff association bargaining in Ontario.”