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

  • Deaths of doctors, nurses highlight virus risks they run

    World News CTV News
    ROME -- Air raid sirens sounded across China and flags flew at half staff in a tribute Saturday to victims of the coronavirus pandemic including the health care "martyrs" who have died while fighting to save others. Source
  • Trump fires watchdog who handled complaint that triggered impeachment

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump has fired the intelligence watchdog who handled the complaint that triggered his impeachment. Trump informed the Senate intelligence committee Friday of his decision to fire Michael Atkinson, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press. Source
  • Trump fires watchdog who handled whistleblower complaint that triggered impeachment

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump has fired the intelligence watchdog who handled the complaint that triggered his impeachment. Trump informed the Senate intelligence committee Friday of his decision to fire Michael Atkinson, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press. Source
  • Another member of fire panel resigns, criticizes PG&E plan

    World News CTV News
    BERKELEY, CALIF. -- The former chief financial officer for a Northern California city destroyed in a 2018 wildfire caused by Pacific Gas & Electric equipment is trying to upend the utility's plan for getting out of bankruptcy because she believes the company is shortchanging the people devastated by its misconduct. Source
  • Alberta health minister used confidential information to call protesting doctors

    Canada News CBC News
    When Dr. John Julyan-Gudgeon went to a hospital event to protest health-care cuts, he didn't expect it to lead to an after-hours phone call on his personal cellphone from the health minister. But that's exactly what happened. The doctor attended a provincial funding announcement at the Red Deer Regional Hospital on Feb. Source
  • Judge demands FBI provide new details about its surveillance

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The chief judge of a secretive national security court demanded Friday that the FBI provide him with details about some of its investigations after the Justice Department inspector general identified problems with more than two dozen wiretap applications. Source
  • Major credit card companies raise tap limit to $250 to help cut spread of COVID-19

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Major credit card companies have increased their tap limit to $250 to help customers who want to make less physical contact while shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. MasterCard and Visa raised the tap limits from $100 to $250 and the Retail Council of Canada is hoping that Interac will soon follow. Source
  • 'Always new expenses': Lawsuits filed as anniversary of Broncos bus crash nears

    Canada News CBC News
    It's been almost two years since the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan and with the solemn anniversary comes a closing legal window that has seen several lawsuits filed in court. Sixteen people died and 13 others were injured after a transport truck barrelled through a stop sign and into the path of the bus carrying the junior hockey team on April 6, 2018. Source
  • Ontario premier slams Donald Trump's decision to cease exports of N95 masks to Canada

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford has slammed United States President Donald Trump's decision to cease exports of manufacturing giant 3M's N95 face masks to Canada. "I just can't stress how disappointed I am at President Trump for making this decision," Ford said at Queen’s Park on Friday. Source
  • Relatives of the Kennedy family reported missing after canoe ride in Maryland

    World News CTV News
    Authorities were searching Friday for the daughter and a grandson of former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend after a canoe they were paddling in the Chesapeake Bay didn't return to shore. Gov. Larry Hogan identified the missing relatives as Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and McKean's 8-year-old son, Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean. Source