Rob Sutherland’s day job is as a professor and chair of the University of Lethbridge’s department of neuroscience, but his public profile this year has come as a result of his role as president of the Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations. CAFA represents academic associations at the province’s four research-intensive institutions (University of Lethbridge, University of Calgary, University of Alberta and Athabasca University). They were all hit hard in the provincial budget in March, with cuts to their operating budgets of more than seven per cent. Sutherland was suddenly thrust into the limelight as a defender of tertiary education from both the budget cuts and the mandate letters sent to the institutions from Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk. You can be sure the battle will continue for years as the provincial government continues its austerity measures and the universities fight to get their funding back up to – and beyond – prior levels.