University of Northern B.C. board failed to consult on James Moore: senate

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. -- The University of Northern British Columbia's senate is formally opposing the process used to select former Conservative cabinet minister James Moore as chancellor.

See Full Article

After a lengthy debate on Wednesday, a majority of members voted to ask UNBC president Daniel Weeks to inform the school's board of governors that it didn't sufficiently consult with the senate on Moore's appointment.

The decision has caused an outcry among some faculty and students who say Moore's role in former prime minister Stephen Harper's government clashes with the values of the Prince George, B.C., institution.

The board is required by the University Act to consult with the senate before appointing a chancellor, but the legislation does not spell out what that consultation must entail.

Student senator Angela Kehler said the only discussion that took place was an in-camera meeting in October, shortly before the board announced on Nov. 26 that Moore had been selected.

"As far as following the letter of the legislation, we were notified ahead of time," she said. "We just felt that it wasn't meaningful consultation. We didn't have enough time to consider before a recommendation went to the board."

The senate is made up of about 45 faculty members and students and handles academic decisions, while the board controls financial affairs.

Each senator was given an opportunity to speak during Wednesday's meeting, which was so packed that 60 members of the public were shuttled into an overflow room and it stretched on for about two hours past the allotted time, Kehler said.

Moore's critics have pointed to the Harper government's environmental record and muzzling of federal scientists as inconsistent with the values of UNBC, which calls itself "Canada's Green University."

Paul Siakaluk, an associate psychology professor on the senate, said they were not given the name of the nominee prior to the in-camera meeting in October.

"Basically, we were surprised at the in-camera meeting. We expressed our views and that was it. There was no effort afterwards to have any more dialogue or discussion between the board and the senate."

Brian Menounos, a faculty senator and the Canada Research Chair in Glacier Change, called on the board to reconsider the appointment or for Moore to step aside.

"A chancellor is supposed to unify a community, not divide it. The amount of controversy this has caused, and division at the university, is really unfortunate."

Weeks, the university's president, said he will set up a meeting with board chairman Ryan Matheson to relay the senate's concerns as soon as possible. He will also raise the issue at the next board meeting once it's called.

He downplayed the division at UNBC over Moore's appointment, saying there's no better place than a university to have passionate dialogue on controversial issues.

"My job as the president is to take that passion and make sure that we channel it toward working in the best interest of our students," he said.

Matheson said the board followed the process as set out in the University Act.

"The board always considers information and input from the senate," he said in an email on Thursday. "Yesterday, the senate provided our president with direction, and the board will consider the president's report at our next opportunity."

Moore announced in June that he would not seek re-election for family reasons. The former Industry Minister and graduate of UNBC has said he's honoured to be named chancellor and wants to work with everyone in the community to build on UNBC's successes.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Donald Trump blasts conservatives on Twitter over health care bill failure

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday attacked conservative lawmakers for the failure of the Republican bill to replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law, as aides signalled a greater willingness to work with moderate Democrats on upcoming legislative battles from the budget and tax cuts to health care. Source
  • Hundreds arrested during protests across Russia, including Putin opponent [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    MOSCOW — Russia’s opposition, often written off by critics as a small and irrelevant coterie of privileged urbanites, put on an impressive nationwide show of strength Sunday with scores of protest rallies spanning the vast country. Hundreds were arrested, including Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who is President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critic. Source
  • 'It was just crazy'; Deadly shooting at Cincinnati's Cameo club [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    CINCINNATI — A gunfight broke out inside a crowded Cincinnati nightclub early Sunday, leaving one man dead and 15 others wounded after a dispute among several patrons escalated into a shootout, authorities said. No suspects were in custody by late afternoon in the shooting at the Cameo club, which has a history of gun violence, and police said there was no indication of any terrorism link. Source
  • 'Swirl face' sex offender Christopher Neil to make home in Vancouver

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    VANCOUVER — High-risk sex offender Christopher Paul Neil, once known as 'Swirl face," has recently been released from prison and plans to live in Vancouver. According to a public notification Sunday by the Corrections Branch of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, the 42-year-old former teacher has a pattern of sexual offending behaviour against both pre and early pubescent boys. Source
  • 4 people found dead in home near Ashcroft, B.C.

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Police are investigating after four people were found dead inside a home in Venables Valley near Ashcroft on Friday afternoon. Ashcroft RCMP responded to a request for a well-being check at the home and discovered the bodies, said a police press release. Source
  • Republicans struggling to govern

    World News Toronto Sun
    The Republican Party of “no” for Democrat Barack Obama’s eight years is having a hard time getting to “yes” in the early Donald Trump era. The unmitigated failure of the GOP bill to replace Obamacare underscored that Republicans are a party of upstart firebrands, old-guard conservatives and moderates in Democratic-leaning districts. Source
  • Donald Trump faces obstacles building 'big, beautiful' border wall

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump has now laid out exactly what he wants in the “big, beautiful wall” that he’s promised to build on the U.S.-Mexico border. But his effort to build a huge hurdle to those entering the U.S. Source
  • Al-Qaida leader Qari Yasin killed in U.S. airstrike, Pentagon confirms

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — A U.S. counterterrorism airstrike earlier this month in Afghanistan killed an al-Qaida leader responsible for a deadly hotel attack in Islamabad in 2008 and the 2009 attack on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team, the Pentagon said Saturday. Source
  • Trump's 'big, beautiful' border wall faces many roadblocks

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump has now laid out exactly what he wants in the "big, beautiful wall" that he's promised to build on the U.S.-Mexico border. But his effort to build a huge hurdle to those entering the U.S. Source
  • German minister 'speechless' over Erdogan rhetoric

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN -- A senior German official says Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's rhetoric in the standoff with European countries ahead of his country's April 16 referendum is causing damage that will take years to repair. Source