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. 



Now that the elusive first day of Spring has past, for many our minds start to entertain thoughts of brushing off the patio chairs, raking the forlorn front yard and preparing to fertilize the back yard. Dragging out the weather beaten plant pots for the annual spider check and spray. Hiding those winter boots in the back of the closet and adoring some lighter footwear that keeps us all in an optimistic state of mind.

As pleasant as these thoughts are, I must remind everyone that Spring is also the time for the annual ACIFA Conference. This year’s conference will be held at the Coast Canmore Hotel and Conference Centre, Canmore, May 28-30, 2017. The theme for this year’s Conference will be “Cultivating Connections Teaching /Learning / Wellness “. The host and organizing Institution consolidating this year’s theme will be the Olds College Faculty Association.

The ACIFA Conference has grown in stature and reputation over the years. Attendance has also greatly increased and I am proud to say that SAFA have sponsored 40 Faculty members every year for the past four years, thirty members in prior years. Furthermore, SAIT have had numerous Faculty members per year participate in presentations that are within their field of expertise.  A stellar commitment by those individuals to showcase SAIT as an educational Institution, to which the SAIT community should be extremely proud of. The ACIFA conference is one of the last bastions for educators all across the Province to meet and exchange ideas, talk some shop, share in new and innovative concepts and thoughts, exchange stories from the trenches and enjoy the mountain scenery.  Attendees also have the opportunity to socialize over lunch and dinner, and enjoy the nightly entertainment provided by the host college. Although the conference is an Alberta sponsored venue, we have had many educators from other Provinces join us.

All ACIFA business that pertains to the Alberta colleges is discussed at the conference, and representations in the form of Presidents, Negotiation Advisors and Professional Affairs are presents and active at the conference section meetings.  I have always been a proud supporter of the ACIFA Conference and recognize the value in the connection with colleagues from other Institutions, and the opportunity to share in innovative ideas and concepts. I am astonished and disappointed when I hear that there are still individuals within our Institution that believe the ACIFA Conference is a Union Conference, which is far from the truth.

How does ACIFA benefit me?

Our membership in ACIFA offers benefits in contract negotiation & Dispute resolution. We have access to highly experienced Labour Relations professionals. ACIFA supports professionalism granting three awards yearly, Scholarship of Teaching, Learning & Innovation in Teaching awards, and The Distinguished Instructor Award. Together we advocate for post- secondary education, and enhance the community of post-secondary professionals. (ACIFA)

For more information about the Canmore Conference contact Kathie Dann at the SAFA Office # 8321



 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


Congratulations to Jason Boyd from the School of Hospitality and Tourism on winning ACIFA’s Distinguished Instructor Award for 2017!

He is the first instructor from SAIT to be honoured with this prestigious award.


This award aims to recognize teachers who exhibit commitment to teaching, learners, and learning through a variety of measures.  This province-wide award attracted several submissions; all of which were inspiring and impressive.  Jason Boyd will be attending the ACIFA conference in Canmore for a formal presentation to receive his award of $1500.00.

The ACIFA Innovation in Teaching award has been won by both Paul Norris (2012) and Alison Cervi (2009).  A joint project by Steve Janz & Cynthia Maier garnered the 2014 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

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